AUBURN — By the time they had unlocked the doors at the new Krispy Kreme before dawn Monday, a bundled-up Joshua Fogg of Turner had been standing outside for 15 hours in temperatures that had dipped below zero.

Fogg, the first guy in line, paused for a moment when asked why he shivered through a cold Maine night at the head of a line that consisted only of him and a few high school students.

“I just wanted the doughnuts,” Fogg said. “Really, that simple.”

[More: Krispy Kreme fans brave the cold Sunday night for Auburn opening]

Three high school seniors from Greene had an easy answer for their 12-hour vigil, as well.

They camped out on lawn chairs out front of shop at 410 Center St. because they wanted to prove to a teacher they could do it.

Paige Maheux said they had had a long discussion recently at Leavitt Area High School about whether people would stake out spots in line when Krispy Kreme opened. Teacher Morgan Clark had expressed doubt the students could do it, she said.

“In spite of her, here we are,” Maheux said.

For Maheux, Justin Cabral and Ryan Pratt, it was chilly and probably ridiculous, but also “a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Pratt said.

When the doors opened at 6 a.m., Fogg got the chance to turn on the “Hot Now” sign from an inside switch before getting a card that entitled him to a dozen glazed doughnuts every week for a year.

At $9.99 a box, or more than $500 for the year, that may have made his wait worth it. He thought so, anyway.

Fogg said he enjoyed a glazed doughnut, hot off the conveyor belt, which was just as good as he remembered them when he lived in Florida more than a decade ago.

For Mary White of Auburn, who showed up shortly before the doors opened, memories of long-ago doughnuts in Virginia Beach were the big reason she made the short trip to the store opening.

“I didn’t lose much sleep,” she said, because she lives nearby.

White said that Krispy Kreme doughnuts were a part of growing up near the naval base in Norfolk, Virginia, and were a frequent fixture for her family 35 years ago.

She said she wanted to get some to give her grandchildren so they could experience what real doughnuts ought to taste like.

“You’ve got to eat the glazed regular,” she said. “I don’t know what the secret is, but nothing tastes like a Krispy Kreme.”

Fogg said it matters that they are fresh off the line and made on site.

“Nobody wants to have doughnuts off a truck,” he said.

Developer Cort Mendez, from NH Glazed, LLC, was obviously enjoying the first minutes at his new store, the second Krispy Kreme to open in Maine. One in Saco opened in the fall.

Throwing open the door after cutting two ribbons inside, a manager told the 50 people lined up in front, “I know you’re all cold and I know you’re all hungry.”

They quickly filed in and were soon munching on warm doughnuts.

“You never know what to expect,” Mendez said as he surveyed the crowd.

Mendez said he was grateful that Auburn officials had done much to help him get the place open — more than a year after its original target date.

Maine, he said, has been great to Krispy Kreme.

“It’s been a joy to deal with the state of Maine,’ Mendez said. “We’re excited about being here.”

Sue Audet, the company’s vice president of human resources and fundraising, said she’d hired 95 people to work at the new store. She said she’s thrilled so many “high quality” and “really, really nice” people sought employment with Krispy Kreme.

She said it proved easier to hire in Auburn than in Saco.

Audet said she also looks forward to working with groups in the Lewiston-Auburn area that seek to raise money. Krispy Kreme is known for its efforts to team with local groups trying to pull in cash for anything from uniforms to school trips.

But Monday morning, it was all about the doughnuts.

A giant conveyor belt that you can see through the front window dips the doughnuts into a fryer, flips them and then carries them through a wall of dripping white, sugary glaze. After that, they are scooped into boxes or added to the display case by the register.

For Mendez and the Krispy Kreme fans who rolled out of bed on a frigid Monday morning, the hope is that the “Hot Now” sign will be on often for years to come.

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Customers watch the hot doughnuts coming off the line Monday morning at Krispy Kreme in Auburn during the grand opening. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Ryan Pratt and Paige Maheux peer inside the Krispy Kreme store Monday morning, moments before the opening. The two waited outside in below-freezing temperatures overnight for the grand opening. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Gerry Albert eats one of the free doughnuts passed out at Krispy Kreme’s grand opening Monday morning. Albert ended up getting a “golden ticket” in his box of donuts, which won him a dozen free donuts a month for the next year. Fifteen such tickets will be given out at random each day this week. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Paige Maheux enjoys her first Krispy Kreme doughnut Monday morning at the new Auburn store. Maheux and a couple of her friends waited outside the store for nearly 12 hours so they could be among the first customers. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Debbie Koch and Gerry Albert order doughnuts Monday morning during the opening of the Auburn Krispy Kreme. The two were up early and waiting for the store to open. Albert ended up getting one of the “golden tickets” in his box of doughnuts, which will get him a dozen free doughnuts a month for a year. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)


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