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Neighborhood news

Closing of store leaves a hole

Published February 16, 2007


Krispy Kreme has left the building.

The Brandon store that opened in 2003 to local fanfare now stands vacant, its windows covered with brown paper.

The chain producing those trademark melt-in-your-mouth doughnuts has fallen victim to the same market forces that once made it so popular.

"They were the darlings of Wall Street," said Frank Hamilton, an economist at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg. "But maybe they had visions that were bigger than reality."

Stock in Krispy Kreme has risen and dropped dramatically since 2000, including an 89 percent plunge from 2003 to 2004. Store locations worldwide have dropped from 440 in 2005 to 374.

Daryl Brewster, the company's third chief executive officer in less than two years, released a statement on Jan. 31 saying that Krispy Kreme is regaining stability.

About 200 people showed up at 5:30 a.m. on Aug. 5, 2003, when the store opened at 910 Providence Road. Now a note on the door refers visitors to Tampa locations on Florida Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard.

"Krispy Kreme retail stores continues to evaluate its positioning in the Tampa Bay area and in the U.S.," company spokesman James Golden said.

The Kennedy Boulevard location, open since 1952, continues to please customers such as Myrna Miller, who was ordering a box of 5-minute-old doughnuts on Tuesday.

"They're lighter than air," said Miller, 65, of Mulberry. "There's nothing like them."

Andrew Meacham can be reached at 661-2431 or

[Last modified February 15, 2007, 07:44:03]

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