Earlier this year, Jayson Gonzalez, 21, of Champlin started “Krispy Kreme Run Minnesota” as a way to pay off student debt.
Since there aren’t any Krispy Kreme shops in the state, Gonzalez would drive to Clive, Iowa, pick up about 100 dozen and drive them back to the Twin Cities to sell for $17 to $20 per box. Champlin to Clive is about an eight-hour round-trip drive, and Gonzalez usually makes several stops surrounding the metro area.
Last weekend, Gonzalez was scheduled to make his 20th run. However, on Oct. 31 Krispy Kreme reached out and told the college student to cease all operations, the Pioneer Press reported.
Gonzalez also used his business Facebook page to update his followers and clientele. “Unfortunately the run for this Saturday will not be taking place, as I have been told I have to shut down operations,” he wrote Oct. 31.
Then, on Nov. 3 he published a post expressing gratitude for the support of his followers and said he was communicating with Krispy Kreme to see if there was a way for him to keep up the donut run business. “With the support on the page and the support on the Pioneer Press as well, there might be a slight chance of hope,” he wrote.
Since Pioneer Press picked up Gonzalez’ story, other local and national news outlets have spread the story. As a result, Gonzalez wrote that his page had about 3,000 followers last month and it has since grown to 7,000 and counting.
Whether the attention the whole situation has garnered has influenced the North Carolina-based donut chain’s change of heart is to be determined, but on Nov. 4 ,Gonzalez wrote a positive Facebook update to “Krispy Kreme Run Minnesota” followers. “I have received a call directly from Krispy Kreme, and we are working together! A positive solution is taking place as we want to make sure we do this the right way, and I will have more details soon,” he wrote.
In another post Nov. 4, he said the operation will be up and running as soon as Krispy Kreme has determined he can represent the brand well as an independent operator. One major step this requires is upgrading to a larger, more reliable vehicle — one that can carry more boxes than his 2008 Ford Focus and one that drives better in snowy, slippery conditions.
Krispy Kreme also released a public statement on Nov. 4, which stated the company reached out to Gonzalez to express appreciation for his love of the donut company and entrepreneurial spirit. It also stated the company’s intent behind asking Gonzalez to temporarily stop his operation — “to ensure product quality and regulatory compliance to protect both Jayson and Krispy Kreme.”
On his business page, Gonzalez shared a link to a GoFundMe page he created with a goal to reach $10,000 to fund a new vehicle. In less than 48 hours, over $5,000 has been donated. His Facebook posts have comments from Iowa, North Carolina, Virgina, Missouri and Florida residents who have expressed support.
The next morning, Nov. 5, Gonzalez provided more details about his partnership with Krispy Kreme. The company would like to donate 500 dozen for his next donut run, which he expects will take place in a few weeks, he wrote.
Within his Nov. 5 Facebook update, Gonzalez also said this could be a rolling opportunity for college students moving forward. “This is something that will be continued until the spring of 2021, and hopefully be passed down to someone else who is in my position,” he wrote. According to his LinkedIn page, which he also shared on Facebook, Gonzalez is an accounting major on track to receive his CPA in the spring of 2021 at Metropolitan State University.