Have you ever wondered why you can’t find any Krispy Kreme donut stores around Minneapolis?
Some claim Minnesota just couldn’t support the chain. Others blame the Atkins diet. Some even attempt to rewrite history by insisting the chain never actually entered Minnesota. (Not true, for the record.)
We dug into the closest this site will ever get to investigative journalism to find the real truth. And we finally have the answer.
The Krispy Kreme Student Hero – Evidence of a city mourning its loss.
You might remember the wild tale from 2019, when a Minnesota student made nationwide waves for his black-market Krispy Kreme operation.
21 year old Jayson Gonzalez, apparently craving some Krispy Kreme donuts (welcome to the club…) decided enough was enough. He was gonna get him some of that hot, delicious, melt in your mouth fried sugar. No matter how long it took him.
As it turns out, it would take him about 9 hours, round trip. That’s because the nearest Krispy Kreme location to the Twin Cities sits all the way in Iowa, over 270 miles away from Minneapolis.
Jayon’s trip was met with such enthusiasm that he started taking orders on Facebook and making the trek every weekend. Hailed as a local hero, he’d resell his 100-box haul of donuts to eager Krispy Kreme fans around the Twin Cities, who often paid $17 to $20 a box.
Then, a tragic twist in the tale…
Krispy Kreme’s corporate office, in what has to be the dumbest PR decision in the history of dumb PR decisions, decided that tons of press and clamour about their product was somehow a bad thing.
They phoned the 21 year old college student and demanded he cease operations.
The backlash received by the company blew them away, but obviously came as no surprise to anyone else with a half-functioning brain.
After an onslaught of public outrage, Krispy Kreme corporate relented, and eventually conceded that the enterprising 21 year old could sell their donuts to masses of eager fans.
“The Donut Guy” was back in business!
This bizarre tale of local history highlights the obviously strange fact that:
- There are no Krispy Kremes near Minneapolis.
- To this day, the only way to get a bite of these mouth watering donuts is to pay this bootlegging college kid to smuggle them across state lines for you.
Which begs the obvious question. Why isn’t there a Krispy Kreme here???
A Brief History of Krispy Kreme in MN
Minnesota wasn’t always a tragic dried up donut desert.
Once upon a time, Krispy Kreme was booming in our state.
In 2002, Krispy Kreme opened their first Minnesota location, in Maple Grove. As could have been predicted by anyone aware of Minnesotan’s love for delicious sweets and fried foods, the location shattered records.
In total, the location did nearly half a million dollars worth of sales in its first week. That was enough to break the all time record for opening week sales, for any Krispy Kreme store in the entire world.
Demand was so high that the company had to open a new production facility just to keep up with the chaos. New locations began popping up all over the city, then all over the state.
It was hot donut heaven.
Then, just five years later, Minnesotans could only find one Krispy Kreme location in the entire state – a lone store in Arbor Lakes near Maple Grove, a solid 20 minutes from downtown Minneapolis.
By 2008, the company closed it’s final store in Minnesota.
So, wtf happened, already!?
Why did Krispy Kreme close in Minnesota?
The first blow happened when the low-carb diet fad hit the market. As the Atkins diet grew in popularity, people began questioning whether a fried sugar bomb was the healthiest option for them.
At the same time, Krispy Kreme as a company also began struggling at a deeper level. After a meteoric rise through the early 2000s, by May 2004 Krispy Kreme posted its first ever loss as a company.
Stock market analysts accused management of expanding the chain too rapidly. Apparently, while one Krispy Kreme location in Maple Grove, MN could clearly support massive success, expanding operations to a dozen locations littered around the Twin Cities was simply too much for a store that sold only donuts.
If that wasn’t enough, the company then doubled down to make sure their donuts could be found on every corner.
They started stocking their donuts in grocery stores and gas stations across Minnesota, and what was once a fun novelty seemed to lose its luster.
Adding to all this were some questionable practices by management. Some franchisees accused the corporate company of sending extra shipments to help headquarters make their quarterly numbers. While this might have been good for the corporate bottom line in the short term, it certainly didn’t do the store operators any favors long term.
Even worse, the parent company started being accused of accounting scandals.
The result of all this was a perfect storm that’d rob us Minnesotans of our sinful donuts of choice.
As a final piece of salt in our woulds, a year after the final store was closed in Minnesota, the SEC issued a cease and desist order against Krispy Kreme for their shady practices during the era of Krispy Kreme’s Minneapolis downfall.
So, is Krispy Kreme coming back to Minnesota?
I sure hope so, but the company hasn’t announced any plans to return yet.
Which is why your best bet, to this day, remains Minnesota’s Krispy Kreme bootlegger, that 20-something student, Jayson Gonzalez. The hero we need, but might not deserve.
There’s even a petition on change.org to bring Krispy Kreme back to Minnesota, but it’s not clear whether it’s gaining any steam. Fingers crossed that it does!
Of course, while you wait patiently for the chain’s hopeful return, you could always just check out some of Discover The Cities’ other picks for the best donuts in the Twin Cities.