On a brisk but tame November night, more than 100 people camped outside the Krispy Kreme location in Boone, all with the hope of winning free doughnuts for a year.
The group, consisting of mainly college-aged doughnut-lovers, gathered tents, heaters, and balloon animals, listened to music and captured the moment at local photography studio Boone Photo Booth on site. The scene was crowded, but the mood was up, despite having to be camped out by 3 p.m. Monday, to be eligible for the contest.
Free doughnuts at stake were a definite driving factor in keeping the mood up, but the moonshine being passed around certainly didn’t hurt.
Krispy Kreme district manager Nechelle Carey said the first 100 customers through the door received store credit for a dozen doughnuts per month for a year. The very first person in line received a dozen doughnuts for free every week for a year.
Senior accounting major Youssef Amrani, who’s license plate read “McLovin” and who carried around the Hawaii McLovin driver’s license from the movie “Superbad,” won the honor. He arrived to camp out at 11:15 a.m. Monday.
“I just like free things,” Amrani said.
Armani doesn’t intend to eat a full dozen doughnuts by himself every week, though, he said he will give a lot of them away to friends.
The store opened at 6 a.m. Tuesday with periodic roll calls to ensure everyone stayed the night.
“I grew up eating Krispy Kreme doughnuts all the time and now that they’re up here, so why not,” Nick Clavenna said after becoming one of the first 100.
Many people doubt the craze around the doughnuts, but for those who have never had a Krispy Kreme doughnut, here’s what it’s like: When you first open the door you are struck with the sweet aroma of sugar and wheat, hitting your nostrils and telling your lungs to let the stomach know of the heavenly complex carbohydrates that are about to arrive. Rolling weightlessly off of the belt and into the box of a dozen you could never regret buying, you find a seat if you can and prepare for the kreme-de-la-kreme food sensation. Then, after the tension is built and your mouth dry with anticipation, the first bite. And oh, what a bite.
The butterly-slick glaze that melts in your mouth and sends your taste buds to a place they have only ever dreamed of. And as you pull away from the softest fluff that’s in the shape of a ring, and enjoy the eruption of wonder and bliss, you have a moment of anxiety, as you miss the doughnut all ready. Two, three bites max, you savor every chew and nibble, wishing for it to never end.
And as you finish your dozen and go back to reality and the normalcy of life, you dream about the time that you once dipped your toe in the fountain of pleasure. But it isn’t the doughnut itself that you visualize, no no. It’s something much more powerful: A flirtatious red sign with the words “Hot and Ready” calling you home.
But we also like free things, too.
Story by: Carl Blankenship and Andrew Clausen