Creaming of Krispy Kreme in Winona is a tasty win for small business everywhere
Oh, do NOT be hatin' on the Krispy Kreme!!!!
This one's for all the neighborhood grocery and hardware stores that have been blown away by the big chains in recent years.
In Winona, mighty Krispy Kreme has lost to the hometown doughnut created at Bloedow Bakery since 1924.
[Here, LearnedFoot weeps. Weeps for the souls of those Winonians who either know not what they have wrought, or those who know not what they missed: the unfettered cholesterol-laden circular nirvana that is a KK donut.]
Krispy Kreme products arrived in Winona stores to some fanfare a couple of years ago. The North Carolina-based corporation left town quietly last month.
Insufficient sales, a spokeswoman for Glazed Investments, which owns Krispy Kreme franchises in Rochester and Onalaska, Wis., told the Associated Press.
What fools these Winonians be!
"To be honest, it didn't seem like that big a deal," said Mary Polus, who along with her husband, Hugh, owns Bloedow Bakery. "I've tested their [glazed raised] doughnut. There's no comparison. Ours is bigger, better and we charge less. The only thing that surprises me is all the media attention this is getting."
"Ours is better." I call bullshit. Unless the Bloedow Glazed donut features a 5-speed vibrating vagina, it's hard to imagine that it's a superior donut to Krispy Kreme's deep fried Orgasm in a Box.
But why not attention? After all, this is a saga about loyalty, goodness and doughnuts. It doesn't get better than that.
Until it became the topic of a Doug Grow column.
I admit, there's also a personal aspect to the Bloedow Bakery triumph for me. Somewhere out there beyond the chain stores, I figure, my pop's smiling.
It's all about you Nick, er, Doug.
When I was a kid, my father, along with a couple of my uncles, owned a small print shop in South Dakota.
In the early 1960s, a national drugstore chain moved to the main street of my hometown.
There was much excitement in the community about this arrival.
Wow, a chain store. It was as if we'd been discovered.
My father, a community booster, didn't share the excitement. Our family would not be shopping at a chain store, he said. We'd be loyal to the people who lived in our community.
Unless the chain store sold 5-speed vibrating vaginas at a low low price!
My father, my uncles and the print shop are gone. And my hometown looks like every other town in the country, a collection of national chains.
Except for the ones that have been totally abandoned, that is.
But in Winona, Bloedow survives to bake another day.
Hugh and Mary Polus, in their mid-30s, bought the bakery last January. But they know their doughnuts. Hugh's been baking at Bloedow's since he was 15.
The big problem for the bakery, Polus said, hasn't been Krispy Kreme so much as low-carb diets.
But people in the Winona area clearly haven't given up all the sweetness of life.
Blah blah blah. Are you sure you're not Nick? Let's skip ahead before we all fall asleep:
Tom Thompson, co-owner of Midtown Foods, understands the war against chains. He and his partner, Ernie Gorman, own two grocery stores that, combined, have half as much square footage as the grocery section of the big new Wal-Mart store in town.
"But we're holding our own," Thompson said. "The secret is to know your customers and offer service, service, service."
WAIT A MINUTE! This guy means to say that instead of lobbying for government regulation, zoning tricks or obnoxious leafleting to bring about those things, he actually solved the problem by making his business more competitive????? Did
Thompson did let Krispy Kreme set up displays in the Midtown Foods stores two years ago. But the customers let their actions speak for them. They didn't bite on Krispy Kremes.
No. He didn't get the vapors. He just let it sail right over his head, oblivious to the fact that this story invalidates certain aspects of his philosophy toward market economics.
About a year ago, Thompson sent Krispy Kreme packing and today offers Bloedow's products.
And now, "Everybody's happy," Thompson said.
Except for the employees, managers and franchisees of the now defunct Krispy Kreme.
How sweet it is.
Listen Nick - yes "Nick" (you're not fooling anyone): whenever a WalMart blows it's nose near a small town people like you howl about how there needs to be some regulation of the markets in one form or another. When one of these eeeeevil big-boxers opens up shop in a town like Winona everybody can hear you praying for its quick demise, so some poor mainstreeters can keep their livelihood. And in this instance you rejoice in the loss of someone else's livelihood, all brought about by the operation of a free, unfettered market.
So can I take that to mean that you are now in favor of free markets?