The Krispy Kreme doughnut chain announced Tuesday that it will join a new local restaurant management group to open four locations throughout Anchorage and Mat-Su over the next 3 years.
The local group, North to Alaska, LLC, is run by partners of Sourdough Mining Co. Restaurant, Peanut Farm Sports Grill, McGinley's Irish Pub and two Firetap Alehouses, said Jack Lewis, managing partner of North to Alaska.
The company plans to open doughnut "factory" stores -- meaning the locations with production lines making fresh doughnuts throughout the day, he said.
Lewis said he remembers at age 17 walking from his house in North Miami Beach to a Krispy Kreme after school. When the opportunity arose to open stores in Alaska, he had to "hop on it," he said.
Lewis said most Alaskans who have only tasted day-old or worse Krispy Kreme doughnuts at fund raisers don't know all that the store has to offer, or share his fond memories of a fresh, melt-in-your mouth doughnut.
The new locations will sport dozens of specialty doughnuts along with the standard glazed doughnuts seen at fundraisers, he said.
The company plans to open three locations in Anchorage and one in Wasilla, all of which would have drive-through windows, he said.
Though Lewis is in negotiations with land owners, and no building or health permits have been filed with the city, he said the company has ideas of where it wants to build the new locations.
The first store, he said, would be a 3,000-square-foot location in Muldoon that could pump out up to 270 dozen doughnuts an hour.
He said the company plans to announce the address of the first store within the next 90 days and open the factory in February or March 2015.
The next location, which could produce up to 110 dozen doughnuts an hour, he said, would be in Midtown near the intersection of West Benson Boulevard and C Street.
The last store to open in Anchorage would be in South Anchorage near the Target on 100th Avenue and could make up to 55 doughnuts an hour, he said.
Lewis said if the company can warrant it, the Wasilla location could the same size as the large East Anchorage factory.
He said he is excited to help Krispy Kreme continue its trend of expanding around the world.
The 77-year-old company opened stores in Singapore, Bangladesh and Moscow earlier this year, said Lafeea Watson, media manager with Krispy Kreme.
"There's very few place that aren't open to the Krispy Kreme experience," she said.
The company has more than 790 stores in 23 countries, 240 of which are in the United States, Watson said.
She said the company is confident that Alaskans will appreciate not only the coffee, but will flock to the red neon "Hot Now" sign for which the shops are famous.
"Hot doughnuts and brisk weather go hand-in-hand," she said.
The closest Krispy Kreme to Anchorage now? In Delta, British Columbia -- 1,337 miles away.
By BENJAMIN S. BRASCH