INDIAN LAND — At 6 a.m. the 'Hot Now' sign at Krispy Kreme lit up in Indian Land to the cheers of more than 100 people. The atmosphere was celebratory as the first 100 customers received a dozen free doughnuts and a punch card entitling them to a dozen each month for a year.
The first customer in line, Troy Smith, of Raleigh, N.C., got a punch card good for a dozen doughnuts every week for a year. He will likely donate it to a local school, he said.
On Sunday afternoon, Smith and Laura Eischen, also of Raleigh, began camping out to be the first in line for the store's opening. This is their fifth Krispy Kreme Grand Opening, and they have the process down to a science. They brought in supplies, including a grill, and a tent to shield them from the rainy weather Monday evening.
Smith also brought a portable camping shower so he could shower after taking a run around the community. Running is one way he stays healthy despite his love of doughnuts, he said.
"Everything in moderation," Smith said.
"I don't know if you'd call 52 dozen doughnuts a year 'moderation,'" Eischen teased.
Fifty employees were hired to staff the Krispy Kreme. Indian Land resident Michael Karman was among them. Karman has worked seasonally with the Carolina Panthers since losing his retail sales job several years ago. He is the production supervisor at Krispy Kreme.
"I am very happy to be back to work," he said. "This store will make Indian Land proud. A big, well known store in town will draw more people from North and South Carolina."
The Indian Land store is the latest in a string of new stores to open near the Walmart shopping center. Marco's Pizza also opened on Monday morning and gave out 50 free pizzas to the first customers.
Bailey Huggins, a junior at Indian Land High School, waited in line with friends to get a free pizza. After they ate the pizza, they decided to stay and be among the first customers at Krispy Kreme as well.
Huggins claimed his spot in the Krispy Kreme line at 11 p.m. on Monday night. By 6 a.m. Tuesday, he had been awake for nearly two days, he said.
"When I get home, I'm going to eat doughnuts and go to sleep," he said.
Patrick Brady, 12, and his mom came from their home across the street to camp out. Brady had several classmates also join him.
The store is located at 10092 Charlotte Highway (Hwy. 521) Suite 108.
We are extremely excited about bringing our delicious array of doughnuts and complementary beverages to Indian Land, said Cindy Bay, Senior Vice President of US Franchises and Company Stores for Krispy Kreme. We want everyone to join us at 6 a.m. as we flip the switch for the first time on our Hot Doughnuts Now sign, and throughout the day as we celebrate the joy of Krispy Kreme with our local fans.
The approximately 2,500 square foot store with a drive-thru will feature more than a dozen varieties of Krispy Kremes doughnuts. The shop will be open Monday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Krispy Kreme is also opening a new shop in Rock Hill, company officials announced recently.