Wednesday, January 26, 2005

763 Krispy Kreme can't match Spudnut

First it was our waistlines, then their market. It wasn't just the low carb fad (now fading). Krispy Kreme diluted its "specialness" by opening too many stores and selling doughnuts in 20,000 supermarkets. I heard on the radio this morning they've hired a restructuring agent to replace Scott Livengood at $760 an hour and all the doughnuts he can eat!

I rarely eat a donut today--maybe a donut hole or two with coffee between services at church. The church switched from Krispy Kreme to donut holes after the Visual Arts Ministry told them they were easier to eat while browsing our shows.

No modern donut can match up to those of the "Spudnut" shop in Urbana at the University of Illinois when I was in college. I believe they were made with potato flour. You could sit at the counter and watch the crew dump the dough into the hot oil and dip them into the icing. In those days I could eat six or seven at a sitting and hardly burp. My initiation into this delicacy was on my first visit to the campus when I rode the bus from northern Indiana to attend an ROTC ball there. I think I took back a sackful for my floormates of Oakwood Hall at Manchester, but ate all the goodies along the way (it was a long bus ride).

When I Googled "Spud Nut" I discovered many other folks lost in memories of their delicious taste and texture, usually reminiscing about a college town, Urbana IL, Lawrence KS, Richmond IN, Madison WI. I also found a doughnut discussion board, where the hopeful restauranteur was looking for Spud Nuts: ". . . are there any SPUDNUT franchises? I haven't had a Spudnut doughnut for nerly 50 yra. I remember making a special trip after church on sundays to the Spudnut shop in Lawrence, Ks. It folded and I haven't seen any since. K-K's aren't anything special."

And there is a Spudnut Shop in Washington that also serves sandwiches, but I don't know if the name comes from the stores of the 1950s and 1960s. An obituary of a former owner of a Spud Nut Shop also turned up. Spud Nuts. R.I.P.

6 comments:

Paula said...

You know, I've never had a Krispy Kreme! At the height of the hype, when they were still a bit hard to find here, I saw some in a coffee shop and they just didn't look "all that." Now they're everywhere and I pay no attention to them. I went to the U of I in Urbana for a semester and never had a Spudnut either...though I did try Garcia's pizza. Eh. Anyway, my fave donut is still a boring old puffy glazed thing covered in coconut, but I never eat them cuz they are Very Bad.

James said...

Two SpudNut locations in Santa Barbara, CA. Oh baby!

Anonymous said...

Oh how I miss Spudnuts....wish they would come to Surprise, Arizona.

George Young--Miami, Fl said...

I grew up in So Texas, Kingsville, where we had a Spudnut Doughnut Shop. Best I ever had. The biggest, lightest, best tasting, glazed doughnut in the world. Please come back, we miss you!

Anonymous said...

DALE- FLAGSTAFF AZ
Just the other day I was telling my wife, I wished I new if SPUDNUT was still a franchise.In the late 1950's I worked for the SPUDNUT shop in Flagstaff Arizona. I believe the only reason I worked for them was the product"I got to eat all I wanted. Just wish that there was still a SPUDNUT shop around.

Anonymous said...

I delivered flour from H&H Wholesale to the Flagstaff Spudnut in the late 1950's. Really nice ownership -- Jerry as I recall.