Krispy Kreme adds Collingswood

A crowd at the new Krispy Kreme on Haddon Avenue at Cuthbert. (Hugh Dillon for Neff Associates)

Dough Nuts for Doughnuts, the local franchisee for Krispy Kreme's re-introduction to the Northeastern US, opened its first South Jersey store at Haddon Avenue and Cuthbert Boulevard in Collingswood this week.

Krispy is moving back into the Northeast, following an abortive expansion in the 2000s, as rival Dunkin' Donuts, fresh from an initial public stock offering, adds stores South and West toward Krispy's gooey heartland.

Dough Nuts' owners, cousins Keith Morgan, an heir to the Aamco Transmission family fortune, and Brian Zaslow, a former Aramark executive, opened their first store last year at a former Popeye's fried-chicken site in Philadelphia's Fox Chase section, and another in Center City.

Instead of the factory-like stores Krispy tried last time, the cousins are implementing Krispy's new "hub-and-spoke" arrangement, with the bakery in Fox Chase, and smaller neighborhood stores with mini-production lines finishing a longer list of baked goods, including bagels and muffins and cookies, and drinks, especially coffees, which had been one of Dunkin's advantages. "It's new for Krispy Kreme," Morgan told me. "We have the broadest offerings of any of Krispy Kreme's 600 stores. At first (the chain) was a little skeptical. But it's being very well received."

"We sold 100,000 doughnuts the first week" at the Center City store, Morgan told me. "We expect our stores to average at least $1 million a year," boosting profit margins toward 20%. 

Zaslow's experimenting with Twitter, and installing free wireless (a lot cheaper than Comcast, he notes) He's hired his Haverford School friend Jimmy Rudofker (his family founded After Six, the old menswear line) as general manager. "We're fanatical, and driven. We're working seven days," Zaslow told me. "There's still hundreds of thousands of people in the Philadelphia area who have never eaten a Krispy Kreme doughnut. But this is the future."