Krispy Kreme returns to Houston, spurs donut war

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After leaving Houston nearly a decade ago, Krispy Kreme returns on Westheimer. (KTRK)

Krispy Kreme is back in Houston. The donut store chain opened its first store at 8611 Westheimer since closing its Bayou City locations in 2006.

At the time, the company said a disagreement between the company and franchise owners led to the move.

Hundreds of Houstonians turned out this morning to welcome Krispy Kreme back. Some including fan Ivan Smithgains had waited almost 24 hours for a taste.

He arrived at the store around 7:30am yesterday becoming the first person in line and winning a free dozen donuts every week for a year. If you do the math, he'll walk away with 624 free treats.


Other donut connoisseurs like Ted Mandel drove all the way from the Kingwood area to wait in line. He told abc13 he hopes they expand to his area. Our reporter Steve Campion asked whether it was worth the long haul.

"Yes. For Krispy Kreme, not for donuts," said Mandel. "There is a difference, Steve."

Kripsy Kreme plans to open another location along Highway 6 on November 17th and a Pasadena location by year's end. They also have plans to expand across the Houston metro area setting up a donut wars of sorts.

Eyewitness News reached out to local favorite Shipley's Do-nuts and national chain Dunkin Donuts for reaction.

"Houston is an outstanding do-nut and coffee market, with the most loyal customers on the planet, and for the past 80 years, we have never taken that for granted," says Stacey Michel with Shipley's. "With Shipley Do-Nuts, there's a real family connection to our brand, and for all others, it's simply a transaction. We've come a long way from Lawrence Shipley Sr. perfecting his donut recipe in his Heights garage in Houston."

"When the Brand announced in 2013 the intent to grow in this market, there were only 3 existing restaurants," says Dunkin Donuts' Nathan Pressler. "The plan was to open 50+ restaurants over 5-6 years. We are now at the halfway point to achieving that goal, with 25 locations in the greater Houston area, including one at each airport."
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