“A part of me just died.”
As news began to circulate Wednesday morning about the overnight fire that destroyed the iconic Krispy Kreme on Ponce de Leon Avenue, native Atlantans, former residents and even those who grew up just hearing tales about the hot, delicious treats reacted with shock, sadness and a little nostalgia.
Marie Brown of Roswell fondly recalled how the franchise handed out free glazed doughnuts if you brought in your church bulletin after the weekly service.
Faith Willis of Brunswick remembered being in the Midtown store one time as an Emory graduate student and seeing firemen and EMTs arrive to treat a man. “While one treated him, the others were in line in their uniforms to buy doughnuts,” she said.
And Teri Anulewicz, who grew up to be a Georgia representative from District 42 after a childhood in Louisiana and Texas, vividly described visiting her aunt in Atlanta in the mid-1980s and getting her first taste of a hot doughnut. It followed a Christmas trek to another Atlanta tradition — riding the Pink Pig, back when it was still at Rich’s.
“For the drive back to their home in Stone Mountain, we must have taken the Ponce/78 route, because we stopped at that Krispy Kreme and ate all the donuts,” she said.
It was also the halfway point between her eventual college, Agnes Scott, and Georgia Tech, where Anulewicz said she attended a few parties back in the day.
“If the hot doughnut light was on, a whole carload of Scotties would stop there for a hot dozen (or two) on our way back to Decatur in the wee hours,” she said.
Credit: Cooper Lewis / Special to AJC
Credit: Cooper Lewis / Special to AJC
Others also contacted The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday to share their memories of the landmark and the fresh gems that were served there.
“So many fond memories of coming to this store whether when I was a kid, or when I brought my kids and then grandkids. One of my favorites is my grandparents and mother would take me to the week of the Metropolitan Opera each May, and our highlight would be to ALWAYS after seeing the opera, to go in and get HOT donuts — and we, of course, were most likely dressed in our finest, long dresses and all!” — Ginger Sanford
“I am devastated to hear that our beloved Krispy Kreme is gone. As a native Atlantan, as my parents and grandparents before me, it has been a foundation in our lives and the source of so many happy memories.” — Jo Ellen (Johnson) Nassif
“My sister and I lived on Ponce de Leon in 1968 and both had our first jobs in Atlanta that spring. Our mother had come to spend the night with us on April 6, 1968. Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated on April 4, 1968. It was a sad time in Atlanta. There was not much traffic or activity on the streets of Atlanta that night. We didn’t have much food in our apartment and the three of us were hungry and drove around looking for a place to eat. The only place we could find open was Krispy Kreme on Ponce. So we had doughnuts for dinner that night. I’ve always remembered that night.” — Linda Autry
“My mom, Kathy Woods, loved the theater. So it was always a tradition anytime we went to the Fox to eat at The Varsity prior to a show and then stop at Krispy Kreme for hot doughnuts afterward. It was always a treat to see the light on.” — Ashley Feddern
“I was a student at St. Joseph’s High School in the late 60s/early 70s. When we were seniors, we had open campus during a time we didn’t have a class. Too far to walk to Ponce, so my best friend and I would get a classmate with a car and he’d drive us there. It was a great place to slip away with friends! One of the benefits of school downtown! — Laura Bragg
“Every year my wife and I took our kids there at 6 a.m. the day before school. Helped to acclimate them to getting up early again and they always look forward to it. I guess now we’ll have to take them to the Clermont Lounge.” — Fletcher Moore
Credit: Ben Hendren for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution