By Ed Brock
Staring with fascination at fresh doughnuts rolling off the line at the newly reopened Krispy Kreme in Riverdale, Jennifer Dickerson seemed in no rush to get back to work.
Her colleagues at T.H. Weiss customs house may have been more impatiently awaiting her return Tuesday morning.
"I was listening to the radio and heard it was open. They sent me to get a dozen," Dickerson said. "We've been waiting forever for them to open."
In the parking lot of the new doughnut store on Ga. Highway 85 the marching band from Riverdale High School entertained a sizeable crowd as a constant stream of cars orbited the building on their way to the drive-up window. Around 9 a.m. children from the Evander Holyfield Foundation and Krispy Kreme managers cut a red ribbon laden with fresh doughnuts to mark the official reopening of the store.
"When I first got married, my wife and I used to come here and eat doughnuts," Krispy Kreme Atlanta District Manager David Ellis said. "This is a great location for selling doughnuts."
Inside the store employees passed out free, hot doughnuts while customers like Dickerson watched the cooking process through large windows looking onto the kitchen area. The "theater store" replaces a previous Krispy Kreme store that had stood there since 1984 and which was frequented by regular customers like Imogene Starks and her daughter Carla Reid, both of Riverdale.
"This is really nice. It's comfortable. It's more for the family now," Starks said. "You can bring your kids in and enjoy coffee or hot chocolate and doughnuts."
Reid said that her 16-year-old daughter has also been "counting down the days" to the store's opening, something long time store manager Freida Carrington has been doing as well. In fact, since last month Carrington has been marking the days remaining until Tuesday's opening on a board in front of the store.
"I was so excited about this whole day," Carrington said. "(The crowd for the grand opening) is not larger than I'd hoped but it's bigger than I expected."
Carrington opened the store around 5:30 a.m. but the first customer had been waiting since 2:45 a.m., Krispy Kreme public relations agent Melissa Libby said.
Libby said that first customer received a coupon for a dozen free doughnuts once a week for a year and one of 12 T-shirts given out to the first customers to arrive with him.
The new store is expected to make about 230 dozen doughnuts an hour and will employee 75 to 100 people.
On Saturday the store will have Kid's Day with face painting, clowns and more.