A Minnesota college student, who drove to Iowa every weekend to buy thousands of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, that he then delivered and sold to his own customers in the Twin Cities area, had initially been warned to stop.
Jayson Gonzalez, 21, of Champlin, Minnesota, would drive 270 miles to a Krispy Kreme store in Clive, Iowa, before packing his car with up to 100 boxes, each carrying 12 doughnuts, then make the trip back to deliver them to customers in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Krispy Kreme closed its last Minnesota store in 2008.
His prices ranged from $17 to $20 per box, with some of his customers spending nearly $100 each time. Gonzalez said he did not receive a discount from the store in Iowa where he bought the doughnuts.
According to Fox News, the listing price for a dozen original glazed doughnuts on the Krispy Kreme website starts at $9.49.
Gonzalez came up with the idea after coming across a Krispy Kreme store during his trip to Iowa to coach in a soccer tournament. He posted on Facebook Marketplace asking if anyone in Minnesota would be interested in getting some doughnuts, and within days received more than 300 responses.
He then launched a Facebook page called Krispy Kreme Run Minnesota and began taking orders. He would use the page to communicate with customers, and update followers on quantities and pickup locations. The account has amassed more than 6,000 followers.
Gonzalez says the money he makes from his delivery service is used to help pay for his education at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, where he is studying accounting.
Less than a week after his story was picked up by the Pioneer Press, Gonzalez received a phone call from Krispy Kreme’s Nebraska office telling him to stop.
Gonzalez said he was told by Krispy Kreme that his sales created a liability for the North Carolina-based company.
In a statement to the the Pioneer Press on Sunday night, Krispy Kreme said it’s investigating the matter.
“We have become aware of Jayson’s situation, which involves one of our well-intended locations, and are looking into this. We appreciate Jayson’s passion for Krispy Kreme and his entrepreneurial spirit as he pursues his education,” the statement read.
In a Facebook post last Thursday, Gonzalez, also known as “The Donut Guy,” told his followers that he had been asked to shut down operations.
“Unfortunately the run for this Saturday will not be taking place, as I have been told I have to shut down operations. I figured it would come eventually, but it arrived early with the surrounding articles. Life happens, and it could be a sign that something else it meant to be,” Gonzalez posted.
However, after an outpouring of support, the company is now working on a deal with Gonzalez to allow him to become an independent operator.
“Today, we reached out to Jayson to express our appreciation for his love of Krispy Kreme and admiration for his entrepreneurial spirit,” a spokeswoman for Krispy Kreme told reporters. “We are going to help him achieve his goals, which include being debt-free when he graduates in 2021, in part by selling Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.
“We wish Jayson great success and we’re thrilled to help him achieve it by donating 500 dozen doughnuts when he re-starts his business.”
Gonzalez has also started a Go Fund Me page to purchase a larger vehicle in order to keep pace with the increasing demand for doughnut delivery.
The Associated Press and the CNN-Wire contributed to this report.