Krispy Kreme craze

It wasn’t even light out. But nonetheless, cheers rose up from the more than 1,000 people lined up outside of Oregon’s very first Krispy Kreme when the doors officially opened at 5:30 a.m. yesterday morning.

The ticker that had been counting down the last 111 days until opening hit zero and the red neon light reading “Hot Doughnuts Now” came to life, along with the bleary-eyed crowd, many of whom had been camping out since early the day before.

TV news vans sat outside, their large live-feed antennae rising up from the masses.

The twisting, seemingly endless line of hungry patrons was punctuated by the paper Krispy Kreme Doughnuts hats that sat atop nearly everyone’s heads.

Many people wonder what all the fuss is about. They are just doughnuts, after all.

But don’t tell that to Melissa Perkel, a Lake Oswego resident about to start Colorado University at Boulder in the fall. She was one of the lucky few toward the front of the line, but only because she started camping out at 7 a.m. Monday morning.

“I know it’s going to be worth the wait,” she declared, her eyes growing wide as she neared the conveyor belt and her own free sample doughnut.

Yes, free sample doughnut. Hot off the conveyor belt.

And because it was opening day, it wasn’t just a normal Krispy Kreme employee handing doughnuts out to the giddy-faced customers.

Patricia Nuttbrock, Mrs. Oregon 2003 herself, bright-eyed and sporting her glorious tiara, handed out the free doughnuts.

“People are just really excited to be getting the doughnuts,” she said, “and then they realize who’s giving it to them.”

Katie Abbott, a resident of Southeast Portland, took off of work early Monday along with a group of her friends to start camping out around 2 p.m. They spent the sleepless night playing games.

Everyone in line concurred that the fluffy, glazed confections were well worth the wait.

“This was not even a wait for doughnuts this good,” Sarah Rose, a junior at George Fox University, said.

She certainly seemed more than content after she had purchased her own dozen and sat outside consuming them along with a group of her friends.

Some people were not quite as frenetic to partake in the early morning craze. Norm Mabee and Terry Hall currently live in a motor home directly across the street from the new Krispy Kreme, located on S.E. 82nd and Otty Road, and have watched the construction over the past 111 days.

They stood by, wearing Krispy Kreme paper hats and T-shirts, watching the crowd, planning to wait until the afternoon to get their own doughnuts.

Construction on the store only finished a few days ago, but Mabee and Hall said that the builders “had it down to a fine science.”

They first discovered Krispy Kreme doughnuts two years ago while in Ontario, Calif., and just a week ago took a trip near Seattle during which they stopped at the Issaquah Krispy Kreme to pick up a dozen of the original glazed.


The frenzy wasn’t just from the doughnut enthusiasts, however.

Representatives from just about every local media outlet were present – from all four of the major network television stations, to reporters and photographers from various newspapers, and even several radio stations.

People waved as the helicopters buzzed overhead. They grouped together in large hugs, cheering for the camera crews.

Despite fatigue and sore backs from having spent the night in sleeping bags on the sidewalk outside, the mood was still chipper.

One Krispy Kreme employee muttered sarcastically, “Gee, I wish we knew how to have a good time here.”

For those present, it was a good time.

The doughnuts weren’t bad, either.

For information about Oregon’s first Krispy Kreme and how to get there, log onto