Hot doughnuts roll out for first time in Tacoma

Tacoma’s long-awaited, eagerly-anticipated Krispy Kreme Doughnuts store is less than a month away from opening.

And that means hot doughnuts have to be ready for the many hungry customers who will surely show up.

With an eye toward being ready for next month’s grand opening, Krispy Kreme officials on Thursday installed their proprietary doughnut-making equipment and produced the first batch of hot, fresh Original Glazed doughnuts at the new store located at 4302 Tacoma Mall Blvd.

The day’s activities were not just about producing the world famous hot doughnuts that practically melt in your mouth, but about testing all the equipment used to produce the tasty confectionaries.

“We’re testing all the equipment,” explained Jeri Knox, concept partner, including mixers, fryers, coolers, compressors and brew tank agitators – all equipment that is used as part of a well-oiled machine that produces 270 dozen doughnuts per hour.

“We want to catch any problems before we open,” said a gregarious Tony Powell, a manager at the Tacoma outlet, noting some leaks had been found in the equipment earlier in the day. “It’s a 24/7 operation.”

Krispy Kreme manufactures all of its doughnut-making equipment from the company’s base of operations in Winston-Salem, N.C., said Gerard Centioli, president and CEO of the Northwest Krispy Kreme franchise.

Nobody can duplicate the Krispy Kreme doughnut, he said, because nobody else has the equipment to do so.

“It just makes a difference in the quality of your product,” he said.

Employees, including equipment installation overseer Wendell Curry from North Carolina, worked hard to make sure all the equipment was eventually up and running properly.

After several attempts and much tweaking of the equipment to get everything just right, doughnuts rolled out assembly line style to the applause of employees.

The store itself is a 4,400-square-foot structure which can best be described as a small doughnut factory and outlet.

When the Tacoma Krispy Kreme store opens, a glass viewing area will allow guests to view the entire doughnut-making process from start to finish.

Customers can see the mixing and extruding of the dough, the proofing of the dough, the cooking and finally the glazing of the doughnuts.

“It’s the doughnut theater,” Powell said. “It’s just really neat when you open up and see kids with their hands pressed against the glass…It’s pretty exciting.”

In addition, the Tacoma Krispy Kreme location will offer 24-hour drive through service and guest seating.

The store will be staffed by 164 employees, plus a management team of nine people.

Doughnuts will be available for the public to buy when the store opens at 5:30 a.m., on June 24.

Prior to the actual opening, there will be a 12-hour grand opening celebration – starting at 5:30 p.m. on June 23 – including G-rated movies and games for kids, said Powell, adding, “It’s a real family atmosphere.”

If past Krispy Kreme openings are any indication, there will be a lot of people on hand.

“We always hope for a big crowd,” Centioli said.

“We’re excited,” Knox said. “We want to sell a doughnut to everyone in Tacoma.”

Founded in 1937 in Winston-Salem, N.C., Krispy Kreme describes itself as a leading brand specialty retailer of premium quality doughnuts, including the company’s signature Hot Original Glazed.

Krispy Kreme currently operates more than 280 locations in 38 states and Canada. An estimated 7.5 million Krispy Kreme doughnuts are made every day and more than 2.7 billion are produced each year.

Visit their Website at: