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Rock Hill’s appetite for hot glazed doughnuts threatened to outstrip production Tuesday at the opening of the new Krispy Kreme store on Celanese Road.
In the first 90 minutes, more than 200 dozen doughnuts went to the people who spent the night – and in a few cases two nights – to see the hot sign glow the doughnuts cooked in the fryer, rolled along a conveyor belt and emerged from a waterfall of glaze where they were hurriedly snatched by workers and placed in boxes by the dozen.
Even with the machine cranking out row after row of doughnuts – six to a row – the wait for a dozen “hot” doughnuts was at least 20 minutes and some waited almost an hour. If hot was not important, there were boxes of “fresh” glazed donuts.
But most wanted “hot” and store manager Richarde McCutchen promised his crews would be making glazed doughnuts all day.
“We’re not going to stop,” he said. “Rock Hill loves Krispy Kreme.”
Tuesday’s 6 a.m. opening ended an almost 10 month wait for hot Krispy Kreme doughnuts. The chain announced in February that Rock Hill would be one of three locations for its new prototype store that includes a drive-up window.
DenneyEdge estimated he’s been eating Krispy Kreme doughnuts for 45 years. His truck was the second vehicle in the drive-thru line. “I couldn’t sleep, so I came for doughnuts,” Edge said. He was waiting to order a dozen glazed and a dozen chocolate glazed doughnuts.
Etta Zeigler was the first car in line. She got there at 4 a.m. She likes the lemon-filled and pumpkin spice doughnuts, but added, “I order wherever my taste buds leap.”
She also came offer a word of encourage amid the madness of opening day. Zeigler worked at a Rock Hill Krispy Kreme store on Cherry Road in 1977.
The line of Monday night campers snaked along the front of the small shopping center and around the corner. The first 100 who spent the night got a coupon good for a dozen glazed doughnuts for free every month for a year. In all there were about 200 campers, McCutchen said.
Andrew Gossett of Rock Hill, who was first in line, got a dozen glazed doughnuts free every week for a year.
Tina Byrd of Rock Hill wasn’t far behind Gossett. She came about 3:30 p.m. Monday and was ready to quit an hour later. Her cohorts in the line said if she could make it two hours she could make it through the night. She did, checking off one of the items on her bucket list.
She planned to eat some doughnuts and take the rest home to husband and 5-year-old son, who she said both enjoy Krispy Kreme.
“I’m going to take the donuts home, and say, ‘This is what I did. Enjoy every morsel,”’ Byrd said.
Just a few steps back of Byrd was Leigh Ann Hardin, who her family described as the “Krispy Kreme Queen.” When the family goes on a trip, Hardin locates every Krispy Kreme along the route and makes sure the family stops at each of them.
Austin Latham, a senior at Rock Hill High School, spent the night with her friend, Brittney Miles of South Pointe.
“We do a lot of stupid things and this was a good experience for our senior year,” Miles said.
Latham had never eaten a Krispy Kreme doughnut. Urged on by her friends, and with the assistance of Krispy Kreme workers, Latham enjoyed her first mouthful of a hot glazed doughnut.
“It’s amazing,” she mumbled amid her laughs. “I’m skipping school to eat doughnuts!”