Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Fit In Everywhere.

Krispy Kremes fit in everywhere, even at Harley Biker Bars!

Just ask the person who rides a Harley.

At this moment I am sitting in a Harley Davidson dealership’s bar which is named Chunk’s Hawg Haven. Sitting on the bar are 4 dozen Krispy Kreme doughnut boxes in various stages of emptiness. It’s Sunday and I brought the doughnuts. My wife, who’s a fine art photographer, has agreed to shoot a portrait in the bar this afternoon of the bar’s owner, “Chunk” and his father “Lone” and Lone’s wife Rebecca who works at Merle Norman. My wife met Rebecca at the Merle Norman store and struck up a friendship thus leading to Rebecca asking my wife to shoot a portrait of her husband and step-son-in-law. It seems that Lone, at 80 years old, has multiple serious health problems and Rebecca wanted a portrait in his favorite get-away place while he still has his engaging spirit in tact.

The thump-thump-thump of the arriving Harley’s and subsequent loud greetings and ear-piercing music coming through some grizzly bear-sized speakers just adds to the fun and in order to write this as I sit at a distant corner table requires my purple 33 db earplugs to be tightly in place as my wife shoots away undisturbed by the incredible din.

We had gone by the bar on Saturday morning before it opened. There we met Chunk and his wife and my wife determined the lighting she would need for Sunday’s shoot. We enjoyed meeting Chunk who’s an affable fellow, very laid back compared to what one might think of a biker bar owner or maybe we just caught him in a contemplative mood.

Sunday dawned bright and sunny and rather chilly so as usual when I go visiting people, I dropped by Krispy Kreme to pick up some doughnuts for the bikers as “Chunk’s Hawg Haven” would be open for business while the photography session was taking place. I got 4 dozen glazed and assorted and 6 doughnut holes cups, about ten paper hats and some napkins. There was just one unfortunate circumstance which later became a load of laughs on me…this particular Sunday was just past Valentine’s day and the only boxes they were filling at Krispy Kreme were the leftover bright pink ones used during the Valentine’s Day promotions. Pink. Bikers. Beer. Doughnut Holes. Krispy Kreme paper hats. Somehow the combination didn’t hit me at first, not until we walked into Chunk’s Hawg Haven and put the little pink boxes, along with the little doughnut holes cups, and the cute little paper hats and napkins up on the bar for all to enjoy.

Even though all eyes were on me and the music seemed to volume down I still just assumed this reaction was like every other reaction we get when we deliver doughnuts to people…they look at you and their eyes get big and the smiles and laughter follow right along. However, the eyes looking at me at this moment weren’t very wide and the smiles looked downright sinister and nobody said a word at first. It was like in the old western movies when the good guy walks through the swinging doors into a bad guy saloon, everyone in the place turns with threatening looks, then the piano player stops playing and the bartender slinks down to safety behind the bar and there’s silence in the room…that’s how it suddenly felt to me and I realized that even though nearly everyone in the world seems to love Krispy Kreme doughnuts, customers in biker bars maybe don’t necessarily like to eat them out of bright pink boxes, I’m just guessing. Uh Oh.

Suddenly, as if on cue at a surprise party, the owner Chunk yells out a huge “AAUULL-RIGHT!!!” and the whole place explodes into laughter and high fives…and this very large biker with some pretty nice tattoos looks at me and yells, “Did we scare ya??!!!” Then more laughter.

It was a set-up that took place without a prior plan, just a bunch of Harley riders trying to get a rise out of a doughnut guy. It worked. Turns out nearly every biker in the bar was in some sort of business profession in real life enjoy dressing in their “colors” and riding their “Hawgs” when the sun was shining and hanging out with other Harley riders during their cruises or at a Bike Week someplace. This was definitely NOT a biker bar gang group. In fact Chunk and his beloved father, Lone, are both retired detectives after 30 years each with the very large local police department, so “Chunk’s Hawg Haven” might be one of the safest biker bars in the nation. How else could they be serving Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in little pink boxes?

Footnotes:
- For you Prius drivers, “Hawg” or “Hog” is what Harley-Davidson riders often call their motorcycles.
- A “biker bar” is a bar where mostly motorcycle riders gather.
- “Colors” are club logos worn by recreational Harley riders. (Originally motorcycle gang members called their club logos “colors” but the name can also apply to the good guy/gal riders who hang out at “Chunk’s”).
- Chunk was nicknamed “Chunk” by his father, Lone, because Lone thought his little baby boy was fat and chunky.
- Lone got the name “Lone” from his father. Lone’s father served in WWI and his best friend was actually named “Lone.” That Lone was killed days after the war ended on an empty battlefield by an enemy soldier who didn’t know the war was over.
- My wife’s portraits of Lone and family are some of her best and warmest ever.

Lone told me an endless stream of hilarious stories after the photo shoot was over. He was really enjoying himself. If he had life-threatening illnesses he sure didn’t show it and his stories, however true, were among the most entertaining I’ve ever heard. As we left I asked Lone if he liked Krispy Kreme doughnuts and he said in a very high volume, “I may have retired being a cop, son, but no cops ever retire from loving Krispy Kreme doughnuts!” Then, that great big laugh.

Krispy Kreme doughnuts can open some pretty interesting doors. Even the kind that swing open.

Krispy Mike

PS – You can meet the nicest people on a Harley.

A Pirate, An Emperor, and Did They Really Need Email, Twitter, or Facebook?

Jean LaFitte 1776-1823

Napoleon Bonaparte 1769-1821

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was having a discussion with someone the other day in one of our Krispy Kreme stores in Texas (of which we have nine with several more on the way). The person I was chatting with was a late twenty-something and we were talking about the need for social media in today’s wired up world. I contended we really don’t and he said that my remarks were dated and I was a product of a generational thing, especially since I don’t even a have a personal Facebook page! He couldn’t believe that. But what’s right and what’s not right, like pure good and pure evil, is not generational and because of acting and living in ways that are “so yesterday” doesn’t mean that those actions aren’t actually right on the money…and, perhaps in a larger, more universal way.

Social media plays a big role in how we communicate in the markets where we have Krispy Kreme stores – Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio, Laredo, El Paso and McAllen. Krispy Jennifer in our Glazing Saddles home office in Austin puts on a very effective and glowing performance as she plays our social media orchestra to a rapidly expanding audience. However, our daily relationship marketing which is a direct contact, one-on-one way we communicate in the community, is also a powerful way to keep our brand front and center with our customers. Word-of-mouth works in many ways. Corporate Krispy Kreme in Winston-Salem, NC reaches hundreds of thousands of our customers around the world through a wide variety of social media consistently delivering the many facets of the Krispy Kreme story in living color and eloquent messaging. This is all good and the whole world knows everything about everything and everybody. Right? And that’s good. Right?

But that’s not my point. Is social media necessary for communication or is it a massive creation of a phenomenon that so many believe they could never live without – Is what you have served up on your cyber plate even the truth? There’s a lot of room for fictionalization…I know that even with my blog I’m sometimes a bit guilty of shoveling smoke to the readers and a blog is nothing much more than a strung out tweet full of opinions. My point is that social media is in fact a product of our times and our times are moving at a speed so fast that no one has even come up with a term to describe it…the speed of light is too slow a description. Maybe it could be the speed of slight.

Since having been accused of being a generational dinosaur by the twenty-something my thoughts turned to the bayou, specifically a gigantic Louisiana marsh called Barataria Bay, a place where I’ve had the great good fortune to have spent some quality time with several fishermen and raconteurs living and working in the area. On one trip there, I was producing a documentary (in my previous, before Hot Glazed life) about local characters working the various fisheries in the bayou and ended up boating out of LaFitte, Louisiana into an amazing water world. We eventually cruised across a 15 mile long, 12 mile wide marsh/bay called Barataria Bay over to Grand Isle and out into the Gulf. A fascinating film journey for sure but what got my attention was a story I heard after asking about the origins of the LaFitte skiff (a shallow water work boat indigenous to the area) and learned about the pirate and privateer, Jean (pronounced John) LaFitte who designed the boat in the late 1700’s to get around in the sometimes shallow waters in the Louisiana bayous…and by “get-around” I really mean to “get away” from authorities who were always after the pirate, and who never captured him or later even knew where he may have died or buried what is known to be a vast treasure – also never found.

One of things that caught my interest about LaFitte and the time he plied his trade was communications. It seems that when LaFitte and his merry men weren’t plundering, LaFitte would often be requested, for a large fee, to sail to France and pick up a wealthy family and bring them back to New Orleans where they could live more safely. Jean LaFitte accomplished this rather often and, bear in mind, this was in the late 1700’s-early1800’s. When I learned that none other than Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte had made the same request to be taken out of France to self-exile in New Orleans (a house in the French Quarter has a plaque donating that it was in this building Napoleon and his family were to reside) I was somewhat overwhelmed with the idea: How on earth did they communicate this request and answer back and forth to arrange a time to be picked up in France?! The telegraph was yet to be invented, no phones, no cell phones, no email, no Facebook, no Twitter, no nothing but pen and paper and sailing ships. And it all worked. How could that be without a blip of any type of instant communication that we take for granted today…

…Napoleon pens a note to LaFitte and says come get me and my family and my treasure and take us to New Orleans, where we’ll reside. The letter reaches LaFitte by boat while he’s holed up in the Louisiana bayou or Galveston or Lake Charles – wherever he was hiding – and he would have to write a response letter saying he would meet Napoleon and his family at a certain dock in France, on a certain date, and at a certain time…see you then…and off LaFitte’s response would go on a sailing ship back to Napoleon. Now I don’t know exactly how they wrote back and forth to arrange everything but there really wasn’t any other way to communicate over vast distances. Think about this for a while – maybe the next time you’re texting your good friend over in Paris while you’re out getting some Krispy Kreme doughnuts in Texas…think about it.

If that twenty-something person is reading this, here’s my point. Just because some old well-proven something that has been around for a long time and is replaced by something that’s newer, better, and gooder in no way means the new way is actually really better. It may be faster or slicker but that precursor dinosaur concept is still alive and well and maybe even a bit more honest and natural than anything evolving today. I’m just saying.

For those of you who don’t want to write us letters and mail them on a ship here is a listing of our Facebook addresses in each of our Krispy Kreme Texas markets:

• www.facebook.com/krispykremeaustin
• www.facebook.com/krispykremesanantonio
• www.facebook.com/krispykremeelpaso
• www.facebook.com/krispykrememcallen
• www.facebook.com/krispykremelaredo
• www.facebook.com/krispykremesanmarcos

See you in Galveston…there’s an annual LaFitte festival there and in Lake Charles where people go to try to figure out just where ole Jean buried his gold.

Krispy Mike

RESOLUTION REVOLUTION…Therefore Be It Unresolved.

As we walk, run, amble, jog, jump, zoom, skip, leap, or jet into 2014 most of us do so with the extra baggage of some kind of ‘New Year’s resolution’ grudgingly hanging on for a few weeks until we either keep the resolution(s) for life, forget them in a slow mental dissolve, or simply, never having made them at all, we just keep moving forward until the guilt of not having made even a single new year’s resolution goes away so you can leave yourself alone and get on with real life.

One pretty thorough research study showed that 88% of all people making New Year’s resolutions never keep them. Being in the Krispy Kreme doughnut business in Texas our customers are made up of “resolutionists” and “non-resolutionists” just like all the rest of society. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions any more but I do think about it when the ball comes down on Time’s Square. The reason I don’t resolution-make is that I used to make so many that I couldn’t possibly keep even half of them leading to a sense of failure, which is not all that bad unless you’re politically correct and believe that failure does not exist in our society. Then I went to making just one resolution like, “I’m going to lose weight.” Then I’d join a gym, pump some iron, buy some diet books, and eat mo brock-ly. I soon discovered that January gyms are so crowded with new members that the wait for a sweaty set of weights leaves too much down time which results in my thinking, “Wouldn’t a Budweiser and a bar-b-que taste really good right now!”

Also, many diet books are faddish and usually filled with enough complex science narrative and unreal super-slim outcome possibilities as to be self-defeating even before you get to Chapter 3…then, in overload desperation, when skipping straight to the recipes, half of the ingredients I can’t pronounce and certainly wouldn’t want to ingest even if cooking them on the pictured $7,000 Viking range (nothing against Viking, great stoves…but fancy cooking stuff seems to be abundant in diet cookbook stylistic photography).

We have nine Krispy Kreme stores in Texas located in the mighty fine cities of Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio, Laredo, McAllen, and El Paso. Things do slow a bit in early January but if you think about it, some of this phenomenon is because we’ve just been through a rigorous holiday season lasting from before Thanksgiving these days right on through Christmas, then New Year’s Day where we chow down on heavy duty regional foods like collard greens, hog jowl, and black eyed peas (in some locales), with every fork-full overshadowed with that dread looming over of having to go back to work in just 24 hours…HEY! WHY NOT SLOW DOWN A LITTLE IN JANUARY! At Krispy Kreme, we get it. Slow down.

So to help those of you who need a gentle distraction from all the unneeded intensity of keeping your new year’s resolutions (or whatever other promises you carelessly make to yourself around this time of year), we suggest that you stop by any one of our stores, sit down for just a second and enjoy an Original Glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut hot off the line with a cup of coffee, or a milk. Take your time, enjoy every bite and remember that you don’t have to eat a whole dozen to have a Krispy Kreme experience…just because that dozen’s sitting opened right there on the table in front of you…you can use restraint and derive just as much pleasure from the one Krispy Kreme doughnut moment. But if it takes two to satisfy you I can only say that you’re now getting into Krispy Mike’s territory which is a pretty good place to be, especially if you have no new resolutions to have to swallow.

Drop by soon. I’ll be at the table right over there enjoying some extra special doughnuts, Caramel Cheesecake, and Chocolate Cheesecake and a cup of Caramel Mocha which is a rich espresso with dark chocolate, caramel syrup, whipped cream, and caramel drizzle. Wow! I hereby make a resolution to accept temptation! There’s a picture of these new LTO’s (marketing buzz letters for Limited Time Offer) below and you’ll notice there’s not a Viking Range in sight.

That’s so you’ll have more fun.

In high resolution I remain sincerely yours,

Krispy Mike

Family Gathering Time Of Year Happens Every Day At Krispy Kreme

Family Gathering

I really can’t remember the first time I sat down with my family for a meal so of course I can’t remember what we had to eat at that meal – but I can remember sitting at our swung-open drop-leaf dining room table covered with a lacey tablecloth and a big turkey bird sitting in the middle surrounded by steamy food-filled bowls and our places set with china from the ‘break front’ and silverware from the mahogany box with green velvet inside. This was a serious family gathering and the occasion was either Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner (“dinner” meaning lunch in the South where I grew up, and “supper” meaning dinner).

At this time of year when Thanksgiving and Christmas are celebrated it offers me the unusual opportunity to more easily explain what it’s like for our customers to come into one of our Texas Krispy Kreme stores and sit down for a while and enjoy the company of family and friends around a table filled with Krispy Kreme doughnuts, milk, coffee and soft drinks. We have nine Krispy Kreme stores in Texas which you can read all about on our website – www.krispykremetexas.com – and all nine are places where people gather every day, not just at Christmas or Thanksgiving.

Gathering together for “fellowship,” as they called it in the Quaker church I attended just around the corner from where I grew up, has taken place since man was carving buffalo images on walls of caves. Today we gather for church, for school, for football games, for weddings, for just about anything you can think of. But gathering for a family Thanksgiving or Christmas meal is a celebration that ranks pretty high up on most people’s celebratory scales because it’s a time to let go of the responsibilities of the working world and forget the daily harping of news anchors and writers and simply enjoy the food and kick back with the family and friends. Sound a bit nostalgic? Maybe. But when you get together and enjoy food and conversation with those you really care about, well, it just makes you feel better somehow. It does me anyway.

At our Krispy Kreme stores here in Texas we see this gathering of family/friends/food celebration happen every day. If you can imagine being in a business where Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner is all the time then you’ll clearly realize just how much pleasure and downright fun it is to be in the Krispy Kreme doughnut business – and to be a customer of Krispy Kreme. Our customers don’t come in to have a meal and go back to work. Our customers come in, usually a family or group of friends, to enjoy a treat and share a laugh with those at the table. Our employees who take care of our customers have often told us that working at Krispy Kreme is almost like being in a neighborhood of familiar faces all through the day. They get to know their customers by name and are actually glad to see them when they come in.

The point is, at this time of year it’s easy to see why Krispy Kreme “works” because of the comparison you can make yourself between the holiday family meal experience and what happens every day in our retail stores. You have only to seat yourself at your own family’s holiday tables this year to see what I’m talking about.

Drop by any one of our stores in Texas and we’ll talk about it some more. I’ll be at that table right over there.

The best to you every day,

Krispy Mike

Mojave Krispy Kreme Dreamin’

 

Krispy Kreme - More than a simple doughnut

It’s very early in the month of November and I’m sitting in a chair in the place where I’m visiting way out in the stunningly beautiful Mojave Desert, while enjoying a very brilliant Sunday morning sunrise, sipping a bold, fresh cup of coffee while spurning the morning papers and TV news in order to lock out the events going on in the world. To me, a sunrise in the desert is an event worthy of making the news itself but it lacks the sensational aspects that make today’s news ‘news’ which is really bad news if you think about it.

Looking back on the month of October our Krispy Kreme franchise in Texas, aptly called Glazing Saddles, plowed through a packed tight calendar covering more than three bases with a full-tilt new store opening in McAllen, which went quite well; the earth-scrapping beginning of our 3rd store in El Paso which should open in February, 2014; making final determinations then signing some hefty documents to crank up a 3rd store in San Antonio; and attending a rather lengthy Krispy Kreme North American Franchise Conference in the sunny, fish-filled state of Florida…all this and more – and that doesn’t even cover the on-going operation of our other “Krispy Kreme Doughnut Shops” (the old-timey way to say it) located in Austin, Laredo, San Antonio, San Marcos, and El Paso. In total we have 9 stores with Austin, San Antonio, and El Paso boasting 2 stores in each, all supported by a total of well over 500 faithful, dedicated, and energized employees who make it all happen every day, week, month, and year that our doors are open to tens of thousands of customers.

As the morning sun heats up and slips higher in the desert sky and my second cup of coffee is begging for a re-load, while looking through our weekly sales figures I begin reflecting (desert-gazing can make you reflect) on the extraordinary work done by our General Managers, Managers, Key Staff personnel and all the other employees in our Krispy Kreme stores and by our management staff in our headquarters in Austin. We’re not a mega company by any means but to us partners, Krispy Randy, Krispy Mark, and me, who each had very, very humble beginnings with nary a silver spoon in any mouth, we’ve got something going on that’s fun, profitable, and extremely challenging in this business called Krispy Kreme Doughnuts which we’ve built in Texas over the past thirteen years…and while we’re owners of our franchise we’re only the keepers of an iconic brand which has been around for 76 years having begun doing business out of a store front in Winston-Salem, NC on July 13, 1937. The brand stands on its own and we perpetuate it by continuing to make the very simple Original Glazed Doughnuts that taste exactly the same today as they did when the company was founded - and also by offering a superior variety of other filled and topped doughnut products as well as in-store hand-made kolaches, plus beverages from our coffees to milks, sodas and icy drinks which can help you chill out really fast.

However, what looks like and has always been referred to as our “simple doughnut” is anything but. Operating just a single Krispy Kreme factory store like the nine we have in Texas, each capable of producing up to 6,000 doughnuts a day, is in no way like flipping hamburgers or squeezing mustard on a hot dog. Our operation is a deeply defined factory-style concept that is usually quite a handful to run 24/7. Then when you begin running multiple stores, the “handful” operation becomes a “truck-full” operation so the infrastructure to assure success among the individual stores as well as the overall business has to be at the top of all measures. The stores have to be run efficiently and the GM’s and their teams operating the stores have to be the best trained of any in the restaurant industry. We have windows looking into our production rooms where you can see a big part of how our doughnuts are made. Sometime when you’re standing at the “theater” window watching the doughnuts come out of the big stainless steel doughnut machine, also look around and watch the employees methodically plying their doughnut-making skills to successfully complete their work to your satisfaction. It’s certainly a sight like no other.

So, to get back to where I was, sitting here in the Mojave Desert (with air conditioning, of course) thinking about our Krispy Kreme people, it’s nice to be able to have such a strong feeling about those who make things happen at the office and store levels of our geographically spread-out enterprise. Our people own their jobs and careers and when you walk into any one of our stores you will also see that they enjoy what they’re doing as they work. Not a bad place to be considering so many people today don’t really enjoy their work as has been reported many times in various national polls.

I really don’t want to say that ‘our people got us to where we are today’ because it’s such an overused phrase that it has little meaning anymore. It’s better to say that after thirteen years and counting we have the most seasoned team of Krispy Kremers carrying their very difficult tasks with skill on a level not found in but a few businesses today. All this didn’t just happen since last night because it’s much too complex on a physical level as well as a personal performance level for that kind of magic to just appear out of a hat. But, over time, with sincerely dedicated hard work and dogged determination along with some luck and the stars lining up just right over those mountains I see out there in the distance this morning, Glazing Saddles has become a Krispy Kreme business that doesn’t just take the cake, it takes the doughnut as well.  So far, it’s been a mighty fine ride (if you like to put thing into cliches).

 

Krispy Mike, at home on the range.

McAllen, Texas. Our Ninth Krispy Kreme Store.

Krispy Kreme McAllen ready for Opening Day!

The Opening: An Adventure.

Around 1920 my paternal grandfather along with his new bride climbed into a very large car in North Carolina and drove across the entire country destined for San Diego, California some 3,000 plus miles away over roads that were hardly more than two-track wagon trails. I don’t know how long it took them to get there, probably weeks but I do know that when he parked his Packard on the Pacific he immediately bought a second extra-large car, found a business partner and opened a two-car “bus line” shuttling people all around what at the time was a growing fishing village. I never talked with my grand-father about this adventure, learning of it long after he passed away. My father was born in San Diego, about the time my grand-father’s partner mistakenly careened his car-bus off a mountain road to his demise, thus eliminating half of my grand-father’s assets, not to mention the ill-fated business partner. Right after that he packed his little family into the remaining vehicle and drove back across America to Greensboro, North Carolina where he started a business building very large custom homes in a well-to-do area of the city. He pursued that successful career into his twilight years with tree-lined streets of big, beautiful, well-kept dwellings remaining today as his legacy.

I recall my grand-father’s adventurous spirit every time we open a new Krispy Kreme store in Texas. With the McAllen, Texas opening in the Rio Grande Valley this past October 15th, our franchise, properly named Glazing Saddles, now operates 9 Krispy Kreme stores across the state in the mighty fine cities of Austin (2), San Marcos, San Antonio (2 –soon to be 3), Laredo, El Paso (2, 3 by this February). Along with my two business partners, Krispy Randy and Krispy Mark (who thankfully don’t drive buses on mountain roads), we find our own brand of adventure in opening and running these happy Krispy Kreme stores and each time we open a new one, controlled chaos ensues but it’s guaranteed to be great fun after we open the doors to lines of smiling customers from every walk of life coming in for a treat and maybe a little family escape from the entanglements of the day-to-day world we spin around in.

Opening our Krispy Kreme doors to smiling, happy customers!

The McAllen store is a top-to-bottom remodel of a former large restaurant and is now a pure Krispy Kreme factory retail store where we can produce up to 6,000 doughnuts a day while our customers watch the whole process from start to finish through a huge “theater” window looking into where the doughnuts are being made. Quite a sight, even for those of us who see it all the time. It’s also quite a sight to watch a new customer taking their first bite into an Original Glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut hot off the very line they’ve been looking at through the window. Nothing compares to the surprised reaction on that first bite…the initial puzzled expression, like ‘What is this!!?’, then the head tilts back and the eyes roll, then the ‘oh-my-goodness’ line, then a big, happy laugh of amazement, then the doughnut’s gone. A lady said to me at the opening, “This is not a doughnut like I’ve ever had before…this is not a doughnut, THIS IS A KRISPY KREME!”

This isn't just a doughnut, it's a Krispy Kreme!

One of my first visits to a Krispy Kreme store was in the early 1950’s with my father and grand-father. It was then and there that my heart was forever locked into the very essence of a Krispy Kreme doughnut and to this day I admit to having an ever-deepening appreciation of our business and the products we produce. The original glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts, hot off the line, still taste the same as they did when I was a kid and I’ve actually talked with three ninety-year-olds who’ve said the same thing about how they taste today compared to when they had them in 1937 at the first Krispy Kreme store in Winston-Salem, NC. We have special people in our test lab in Winston-Salem who make sure that the taste and texture of our original glazed doughnuts, still based on the original secret recipe, never changes. Few products can make that claim today especially one that’s 76 years old like Krispy Kreme.

Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Doughnuts - Haven't changed since 1937!

 

I wish my grand-father could have been in McAllen at around noon on Monday, October 14th, to see the line already forming for the opening at 6AM Tuesday morning, October 15th, with some future customers even bringing tents to sleep in during the long wait. I picture my grand-father studying that scene as the line continued to build into the night and I’m pretty sure he would have thought that while it’s not like the adventure he went through in the 1920’s, a Krispy Kreme store is filled with adventure for the customers, managers, employees and, I can attest, to the partners Krispy Randy, Krispy Mark, Krispy Mike and our wives.

Visit any of our stores this month and say hello. Krispy Randy will be somewhere around the equipment or Managers making sure everything’s just right, Krispy Mark will be in the office making sure all the numbers add up, and I’ll likely be at the conveyor on the 180 degree curve handing original glazed ‘Krispy Kremes’ hot off the line to some very eager customers.

We’ll see you there.

Krispy Mike

PS – A milestone this week! Our Laredo store, under the talented guidance of GM David Castellano, celebrates it’s 10th Anniversary. BUT, along with that, five employees ALSO celebrate their 10th year at the store. Been there from day one! Says a lot, I do believe…Pretty amazing celebration that’s yet another Krispy Kreme adventure.

Krispy Mike

Up, Up, And Away!

The Krispy Kreme Pole Sign Going Up, Up, and Away!

 

The Krispy Kreme Pole Sign Standing Tall, Very Tall

UP, UP AND AWAY!

McAllen, Texas What is likely the tallest Krispy Kreme road sign in all of America will be lighting up on October 15, 2013 at 6AM when we open our newest factory store right in the heart of the Rio Grand Valley in McAllen, Texas. This will bring our total number of Glazing Saddles/Krispy Kreme franchised stores in Texas to 9 with our other stores located in Austin (2), San Marcos, San Antonio (2), Laredo, El Paso (2 with number 3 under construction).

We’re excited about opening in the Valley not only because it’s a great market filled with happy people, but also because it’s an area that for years we’ve been trying to open a store. The very site where we’re opening is one picked by my franchise partner, Krispy Randy close to a decade ago when there was nothing on the site but palm trees and dirt. Before we knew it a Tex-Mex chain scooped up the property, built a nice, big restaurant, ran it for years (while we were building stores in other parts of Texas), then recently closed it and moved away. Now we finally have that great location and have worked for months turning it into a Krispy Kreme factory store where we’ll roll out 270 dozen doughnuts an hour and have our Hot Doughnuts Now neon sign on mornings and evenings indicating that our Original Glazed Doughnuts are coming hot off the line right now!

I was in McAllen recently with Krispy Randy and we were running errands all over the place around the store. Randy likes to buy things to nail in the store reflecting his other, earlier life when he was a building contractor. My other partner, Krispy Mark and I have finally succeeded in forbidding Krispy Randy from standing on the top of folding ladders while rooting around in a store ceiling fishing wires for our menu boards…dangerous work and we don’t want to lose a partner BUT we’ve given up on stopping his shopping excursions during pre-opening construction activities as it’s in his blood and simply shopping won’t cause him to lose any blood.

Back to the story. While we’re riding around shopping at Lowe’s and other places I couldn’t help but notice our road sign way up in the sky watching over everything below…from a distance it looks like the Good Year blimp floating along and it told me a couple of things. One, we finally made it to McAllen and, two, there shouldn’t be too many people that don’t know where we are especially when they see our sign.

I’ll catch you up with stories and pictures from the opening. Oh, I almost forgot, when the “Hot Light” is on in the mornings and evenings and if you’re a customer who walks in the store, if you say to us “Hey I see the Hot Light’s on,” we’ll give you a hot glazed doughnut right off the line for FREE. Not bad if I do say so myself. And I just did.

Till next time,

Krispy Mike

“Talk Like A Pirate Day” At Our Krispy Kreme Stores In Texas Was Something To Squawk About.

If you’re familiar with our Glazing Saddles/Krispy Kreme stores in Texas then you already know about our Hot Light, our Original Glazed Doughnuts right off the line, our other varieties of doughnuts, our kolaches, beverages and collectibles. But the one thing you might remember even more than all that if you’ve visited one of our stores in Austin (2), San Marcos, San Antonio (2), Laredo, and El Paso (2) is that we have fun in what we do and you’ll see smiles and hear laughter when you’re in our Krispy Kremes.

Never was the fun factor more evident than Thursday, September 19th which was “Talk Like A Pirate Day” where if you dressed up like a pirate and walked the plank into our stores you would receive a wonderful bounty of a FREE dozen Original Glazed Doughnuts to feed your parrot and you didn’t even have to lift your sword.

It may not have been a day that will live in infamy but it was a day that a lot of happy pirates will not soon forget. We had crowds of “AARRRGGGHHH” –sayers and we gave away lots of doughnuts. Over 500 dozen in just one store alone!

And we took pictures as you’ll see below. I will say they’re truly warm and fuzzy and as you’ll witness, some were fuzzier than others…but hey, we’re doughnut makers, not professional shutterbuggers…but even in soft, shaky focus, you’ll get the picture.

And there were also lots of stories but we’ll just let the pics speak for themselves – BUT WAIT! There is one story I can’t resist sharing. An 80-something lady came in dressed normally and carrying a small bag. She went into the ladies room and when she emerged she was a fully decked out female pirate complete with fish-net stockings! It seems she didn’t want her kids or grandkids see her dress up like that at home because they might not quite understand.

It’s easy to love being a Krispy Kremer. Enjoy the photos.

Krispy Mike

If You Can Say “Arrrggg, Matey” Or Any Other Kind Of Pirate Talk In A Krispy Kreme Store On Thurs., Sept. 19, 2013 You’re Going To Get Something Sweet And Free

A plank-walking worthy Krispy Kreme Pirate Doughnut!

Thursday, September 19th is “Talk Like A Pirate Day” in our Krispy Kreme stores in Texas located at the end of the plank in Austin (2), San Marcos, San Antonio (2), Laredo, and El Paso (2). So any old Sea Dog worth their Heave Ho who comes into one of our stores and talks like a pirate on that one day, saying pithy things like Shiver Me Timbers, Matey, Thar She Blows, Arrrrg, Let’s Plunder Somethin’ Landlubber…you get it, things that any good self-respecting pirate would say – then that person will receive a FREE Original Glazed Doughnut. BETTER YET – If you come into one of our Krispy Kreme stores on Talk Like A Pirate Day dressed in full pirate gear then you’ll receive one FREE dozen Original Glazed Doughnuts!!! Perfect for just before you walk the plank.

It’ll be fun for one day only but the rewards are worth the effort. You might be wondering who in the world thought up such a day as Talk Like A Pirate Day, an important event in everyone’s lives for sure. Well I’m gonna tell you by letting them tell you in their own words below. A couple of serious scallywags named John Baur and Mark Summers aided and abetted by friend, Brian Rhodes, and then really launched by Dave Barry, nationally syndicated humor columnist.

Here’s their story and Thar She Blows!

Krispy Matey Mike
How it all started …
Arrr! We be the pirate guys, matey.
Or, in another vernacular, we are guys, John Baur and Mark Summers. And that really should be all you need to know about the origins of Talk Like a Pirate Day. We’re guys. Not men, with responsibility and suits and power ties. We’re guys, with all that that implies. But here are the details.
Once upon a time — on June 6, 1995, to be precise — we were playing racquetball, not well but gamely. It wasn’t our intention to become “the pirate guys.” Truth to tell, it wasn’t really our intention to become anything, except perhaps a tad thinner and healthier, and if you could see our photos, you’d know how THAT turned out. As we flailed away, we called out friendly encouragement to each other -”Damn, you bastard!” and “Oh, jeez, my hamstring!” for instance – as shots caromed away, unimpeded by our wildly swung rackets.
On this day, for reasons we still don’t quite understand, we started giving our encouragement in pirate slang. Mark suspects one of us might have been reaching for a low shot that, by pure chance, might have come off the wall at an unusually high rate of speed, and strained something best left unstrained. “Arrr!,” he might have said.
Who knows? It might have happened exactly that way.
Anyway, whoever let out the first “Arrr!” started something. One thing led to another. “That be a fine cannonade,” one said, to be followed by “Now watch as I fire a broadside straight into your yardarm!” and other such helpful phrases.
By the time our hour on the court was over, we realized that lapsing into pirate lingo had made the game more fun and the time pass more quickly. We decided then and there that what the world really needed was a new national holiday, Talk Like A Pirate Day.
First, we needed a date for the holiday. As any guy can tell you, June 6 is the anniversary of World War II’s D-Day. Guys hold dates like that in reverence and awe so there was no way we could use June 6.
Mark came up with September 19. That was and is his ex-wife’s birthday, and the only date he could readily recall that wasn’t taken up with something like Christmas or the Super Bowl or something. We also decided — right then and there on the court on June 6, 1995 — that the perfect spokesman for our new holiday was none other than Dave Barry himself, nationally syndicated humor columnist and winner of the Pulitzer by-God Prize. So, naturally, we forgot all about it.
For seven years we celebrated International Talk Like a Pirate Day pretty much on our own, with our friend Brian Rhodes actually reminding us that the event was coming up. Frankly, we usually forgot exactly when Talk Like a Pirate Day was supposed to be or even that there was such a thing. Brian is one of those guys who programs every important event into his computer so that a reminder pops up the day before. John and Mark may be the founders of Talk Like a Pirate Day, but Brian is certainly the midwife, or godfather or something. (Have a cigar, Brian!)
Things would probably have continued indefinitely on that low-key note until John, Mark and Brian were little old pirates in the Home for Retired Sea Dogs. We had a national holiday that almost nobody knew about, and we were content with that.
Except for one happy accident. One day in early 2002, John chanced upon Dave Barry’s e-mail address. As the entire universe knows, Dave Barry is a syndicated columnist and the author of somewhere between four and 6,000 books and the second funniest man in the universe. We were two guys (three if you count Brian, and that seems only fair,) but Dave (we call him Dave now, though he probably doesn’t know it. Mr. Barry would probably be more appropriate, but, well, you know.) anyway, Dave is like a whole parade with brass bands and elephants. We reasoned that Dave would be able to bring attention to Talk Like A Pirate Day in a way that Mark and John (and Brian) wouldn’t be able to if we lived to be 200. Ambition suddenly burned bright, and sending e-mails is a very easy thing to do. Which is why we finally got around to contacting him.
The first e-mail introduced us, and told him about our great idea — Talk Like a Pirate Day. We knew he wouldn’t be able to resist. Then we offered him the only thing we had, the chance to be official national spokesman for the event.
We clicked the send button, casting our bread upon the water, if we may wax Biblical.
Surprisingly, we had an answer in a matter of days. We had assumed a famous guy like Dave Barry would have more important things to do than read the e-mail of a couple of louts with a hare-brained idea. It turns out, louts like us are where he gets a lot of his column material.
It’s a great idea, he said, (actually “very excellent” were his exact words, in case you’re keeping score.) But then he asked the fatal question.
“Have you guys actually DONE anything about this? Or are you counting on me to carry the ball here?”
Very perceptive of him. The way we answered would be crucial in bringing Barry aboard. We decided on the truth, with a lot of ass kissing thrown in.
“Well, we’ve talked like pirates every Sept. 19, and we’ve encouraged our several friends to,” John wrote in reply. And Mark put it in perspective when he wrote, “We are dinghy-sized-talk-like-a-pirate kinda guys, but you, Dave … you are like a frigate-huge-sized-talk-like-a-pirate kinda guy.”
In early September, John got a phone call from the feature editor at the local paper, someone he had worked with for several years before leaving the newspaper business (But that’s a different story.) She sounded confused.
“John, I was editing this week’s Dave Barry column and it’s about … Is this you?”
It was. The nationally syndicated columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning writer of “distinguished commentary” (the Pulitzer committee’s description, not his own) became convinced of the great potential of such a holiday. Or maybe he had run out of fresh column ideas and didn’t want to do another one on toilet training his infant daughter. Either way, he had written the column.
And hell broke loose.

A Dozen Gallons Will Get You More Than A Dozen Doughnuts.

Miss Lilly and her grandson, Devin, in the guard house at the King Ranch / Encino Division entrance.

 

This is a story about running out. Running out of diesel fuel in the middle of nowhere and then being saved by a big ranch. And a little lady named Lilly. And her grandson, Devin.

Being in the Krispy Kreme business in Texas with my two partners, Krispy Randy, and Krispy Mark under our franchise name, Glazing Saddles can sometimes turn into an adventure. That’s somewhat because of how we operate our eight stores located all over the state. When you have stores in Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio, Laredo, and El Paso and soon a third store in El Paso and a new store in McAllen, I’d say we’re kind of spread out because physically Texas is not Rhode Island. How do we operate our stores? Totally hand’s on. Many franchisees have people who directly operate their businesses. But we do it differently. We partners make all major decisions together and specifically Krispy Randy heads all operations, Krispy Mark, all finance, and me, all marketing. We’re active day to day overseeing the soon-to-be ten Krispy Kreme stores with over 300 employees. It’s this active part that got Krispy Randy into some unpleasant trouble recently. (I’ll just call him Randy from here on to save ink.)

All three of us partner’s daily drivers are Ford pickup trucks. We love them and they love us, but as Randy found out, you have to feed them fuel from time to time or they’ll resolutely stop dead in their tracks and have nothing to do with you until after dinner time.

Randy puts a lot of miles on his F-250 King Ranch diesel and he also likes to pull trailers around the state filled with Krispy Kreme equipment-type stuff. So, as they say on Deadliest Catch, “312 miles southeast of Dutch Harbor (Austin really) Randy is leaving McAllen, Texas pulling a big trailer full of heavy stuff.” His highway of choice is 281 which is old and crumbly and runs right through the center of the 825,000 acre King Ranch so there’s not many towns and a whole lot of places to run out of fuel if you’re not prepared. I can’t say Randy was unprepared but his tank may not have been as full as it might have been leaving McAllen for a long haul, because when pulling that big, fat trailer the fuel mileage becomes ridiculously horrible.

Just for fun, check out a map of Texas and find highway 281 from McAllen up to near Corpus Christi and you’ll see a huge empty space and that’s the King Ranch. Speaking of empty, Randy started noticing his fuel gauge quickly sliding toward “E”. Bear in mind, when you’re on 281, there’s hardly anything else there except for you. Randy’s fuel level reader started giving him unpleasant messages –“50 miles to empty,” “29 miles to empty,” “11 miles to empty,” and then he saw a water tower indicating the existence of a town. Saved!? Not really. There were four service stations in this tiny town named Encino. Two were open but had no diesel and the other two had been abandoned for years.

“2 miles to empty.” This is it! Driving on a parallel side road, desperation loomed and then suddenly a little shack-like building appeared beside a gate with a sign that read King Ranch/Encino Divison. “1 mile to empty” flashed the nasty dashboard. Randy reckoned that here is where he would pull to a stop. Good thinking. Out of the little white building came a nice lady and a young boy. Her name is Lilly and the boy is her grandson named Devin. Miss Lilly has been the guard at this Division’s gate for 30 years and she has the good-natured feistiness which comes with years of experience at the same type of work in a very steamy part of Texas. This particular gate opens up to over 100,000 acres of the King Ranch, mostly hunting property.

“How far to next station with diesel,” asked Randy. “Twenty-three miles, up in Falffias, you’ll find some,” answered Miss Lilly. Randy said he couldn’t make it and then Devin got on a cell phone and called someone on the ranch. The person on the other end of the line said he’d bring some diesel fuel but it would be at least 30 minutes. Randy said he’d be glad to wait which was an understatement. A King Ranch fuel truck arrived and Randy asked for three gallons to get to Falffias but the King Ranch gentleman pumped in 12 gallons, an even dozen (we understand what dozens are, although this dozen gallons was probably the sweetest Randy had ever enjoyed).

When he attempted to pay, the King Ranch man refused to accept the money – he just said he was glad to help. Randy said he’d be back some day with Krispy Kreme doughnuts. And then he drove on north toward Austin. In a matter of days Randy was on his way back to McAllen loaded with dozens of doughnuts for our building’s construction workers and for Miss Lilly and her fellow employees. He stopped at the King Ranch gate but only Miss Lilly’s daughter was on duty for that day. The doughnuts were handed over with many “Thank you’s” flying around from both directions.

The timing of the next thing is interesting. You have to know that I don’t believe there’s any such thing as a coincidence. Things happen for reasons we don’t always understand but it’s no random thing. Two weeks ago Randy, Mark, and I were in Randy’s truck driving to McAllen to check on the progress of our building construction. We had many dozen doughnuts in the truck and planned to stop at the Encino gate to see if Miss Lilly was there so Mark and I could meet her. Within a few miles from the gate the phone jingles in the truck and it’s our office calling to say that Miss Lilly had just called with a belated “Thank You” for the doughnuts given to her daughter. Randy called the left behind number and Miss Lilly says hello and Randy says we’ll see you in two minutes! “C’mon, then,” Miss Lilly responded with a big laugh underlining her words. And then we were there and so was Miss Lilly and Devin. What a great non-coincidence this meeting turned out to be. Simply put, these King Ranch guard house keepers are just good people, the kind you’d like to be around all the time.

It turns out that many travelers run out of gas right at that guard gate and the King Ranch always helps out. But this time was different because Randy’s “thank you” with Krispy Kreme doughnuts was the first time anyone ever came back and said, Thank You. I guess we’ve got some pretty good people at Krispy Kreme, too.

Finally, to put things in perspective, some facts about Encino you might enjoy – Population: 177. Households: 61. Number of houses: 92. Travel time to work: 52 minutes. Encino school enrollment: 70 students. Airport: El Coyote Ranch Airport, 1 short runway. Closest towns to the north: Falffias, Premont, and Alice. Superstars who live in Encino: Miss Lilly and her family and the nice man in the King Ranch fuel truck.

Well, I guess it’s now about time to go fill up and start driving.

All the best to you,

Krispy Mike