Monday, December 31, 2007

A world without Starbucks

So I flipped through the local paper online and saw that the local Krispy Kreme (home of the whipped-air donut) is closing. I know that it's not "symptomatic" of anything, but for once, I'm sympathetic with that media urge to take a factoid and spin it out into a whole realm of wishful thinking. If only this was a crack in the facade of Corporate MegaObscureMidwesternCity!

Now, I'm not intrinsically opposed to the Krispy Kreme, and it was certainly handy having them at the gas station to bring to random "pot luck" work functions. It's just that once it opened, all the hype was inexplicable to me. Some people talked like they were the best donuts in the world, like they'd change my life. Now, the first time I went from cheap grocery store ice cream to Haagen-Dazs, that was something. But I found the Krispy Kreme too sweet, and way too insubstantial.

Of course, it was a still a donut, so they weren't bad or anything. They just weren't really any better than any other. Certainly not up the caliber of the Quality Bakery donut.

The Krispy Kreme opened in 2002, thus lasting 5 years, which is pretty impressive for the current times. Still, when the Quality Bakery and Coffee Shop location that I frequented closed down (victim in part of an almost two-year road closing, part of one of the so-called revitalization projects we're so fond of), I'd personally been going there for 22 years. And like the beloved dive bar that was a more direct, targeted casualty of the same revitalization, it was still doing decent business. I understand that the cities would like to do more business, but their first act so often seems to be driving out the places that have survived decades of ups and downs...

So by all means, bring in the Krispy Kremes when they come around. There will always be businesspeople who want to jump on what's trendy and make a lot of money in the short term. That's fine. But it's nothing to base a whole economy around.

Oops, too late.

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