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Krispy Kreme returns to Kingsport

It has been four years since Kingsport had a Krispy Kreme donut shop.
It has been four years since Kingsport had a Krispy Kreme donut shop.
Photo by Joe Raedle

Kingsport has been without a Krispy Kreme donut shop for over four years, but that is about to change very soon. The Johnson City Press reported on Thursday that a building permit was issued on Wednesday for a new Krispy Kreme on Stone Drive. It will be located across the parking lot from the new Popeyes restaurant, which is already drawing a lot of attention from Kingsport diners.

Judging from the public outcry that took place when the former Krispy Kreme store on Center Street closed, this new Krispy Kreme may surpass Popeyes in popularity. In 2010, according to the Kingsport Times News, the Coomer family did not renew their franchise agreement with Krispy Kreme after the original owner and franchise owner, Ralph Coomer, died. The establishment reopened under the Seaver's name. (The Coomers already owned a bakery by that name in Johnson City that specialized in fruit pies.)

The Center Street location in Kingsport continued to make donuts with a different recipe and a different name on the box. This was necessary because only franchise owners can legally make and market donuts using the famous Krispy Kreme original recipe. Kingsport residents actually grieved the loss of Krispy Kreme donuts, and they took their lament to Facebook. There many conversations during and after this time discussing the difference between the Krispy Kreme recipe and the new donuts being made at Seaver's.

The Bristol location of Krispy Kreme also closed a few years ago, being replaced by a Kroger gas station instead of another bakery. Tri-Cities residents who crave a genuine hot and fresh Krispy Kreme donut have been forced to travel to Johnson City. Very soon, the Kingsport location will be open right in the middle of the business district to make it even more convenient.

Editorial note:

The donuts from Seaver’s are very tasty, having actually enjoyed some chocolate-covered, cream-filled ones from a grocery store last night. There is a distinct difference between Seaver’s and Krispy Kreme donuts; they are surely made from two recipes, and it is noticeable in the actual donut, the filling and the icing. There almost seems to be a brandied taste to the Seaver’s cream filling that is very unique and quite good. It may be the type or amount of vanilla they use. Krispy Kreme donuts have their own unique taste, but the Tri-Cities Top News Examiner prefers Seaver’s donuts.