PHILADELPHIA: The line of 200 people contained many who had camped overnight in soggy weather under tents, just to be among the first to enjoy hot glazed doughnuts.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts opened here on November 7, the first of 16 stores coming to the Philadelphia area over the next five years. This particular store is in Northeast Philadelphia, a neighborhood with a culture all its own.
"This new store is really at the heart of Philadelphia's melting pot, but here, everyone shares Krispy Kreme doughnuts in common," said Rocco Fiorentino, president of Freedom Rings, Krispy Kreme's area developer.
"This is America's most loved brand, and one that almost solely relies on PR for brand awareness, having a relationship with the public, especially in the communities in which we build. The customer experience then becomes our job."
The long line on opening day was entertained by a Mummers Stringband, a part of Philadelphia's tradition, a group of local school kids singing God Bless America, and a friend of Fiorentino's, a blind boy, singing the national anthem.
"These openings have taken on a life of their own, and this was one of our most exciting and fun, with a lot of media attention," said Stan Parker, SVP of marketing for Krispy Kreme. "Rocco is a local guy who understands the market, the power of branding, and the passion for our brand. This opening is part of our continuing expansion outside of our heritage markets."
Both the store opening and groundbreaking events were managed by Alta Communications. President Kate Allison added, "This brand is buoyed almost entirely by PR. The brand has a simple strength - it's about fun, it's a great product, and the care Krispy Kreme shows its customers and communities."