Let's Just Rename Houston Doughnutville: Krispy Kreme Is Returning to Our Fair City

Remember back in August when we relayed the Chronicle's initial report that Dunkin' Donuts was planning to open 60 stores in Houston during the next five years?

Well, the doughnut craze is still going strong. This week, the Chronicle reported that Krispy Kreme is making a Houston comeback. The chain closed all its Houston locations in 2006 after Lone Star Doughnuts Ltd. and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. got into disputes over forced expansion and overhead costs.

Thank goodness Krispy Kreme is coming, because I don't think dozens of Shipley Do-Nuts, 60 Dunkin' Donuts and countless other mom-and-pop shops can handle all of our doughnut desires.

Krispy Kreme has signed a franchise agreement with Dulce Restaurants LLC, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Sun Holdings LLC. Guillermo Perales, the president and CEO of Sun Holdings, says he'll begin opening stores in Houston next fall and plans to open ten during the next five years. He thinks Krispy Kreme will succeed in Houston this time around because the shops will focus solely on retail, rather than retail and wholesale, as they did previously.

"With our plans to continue developing the Dallas market now finalized and under way, we are excited by the opportunity to expand our relationship with Krispy Kreme in Houston," Perales said in a statement.

Shipley Do-Nuts and Dunkin' Donuts don't seem concerned about the competition, according to the Chronicle article.

"We believe we can someday have 1,000 Dunkin' Donut restaurants in Texas," said Nathan Pressler, Dunkin' Donuts field marketing manager for Texas and Oklahoma. "And Houston is an important market for our growth plans."

Lawrence Shipley III, president of Shipley Do-Nuts, says the Houston-based doughnut purveyor isn't going anywhere, either. With its 120 locations now open in the greater Houston area, I think it's safe to agree that Shipley is here to stay.

What do you think? Will Krispy Kreme be included on a future round-up of the best doughnuts in Houston?

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