May 20, 2003 was easily one of the ten happiest days of my life!

That was the day, 20 years ago today when Krispy Kreme officially arrived in Sioux Falls.

Sure the doughnuts had been available in South Dakota's largest city before then through fundraising events from various local charities. But those Krispy Kremes were made in Omaha and transported to Sioux Falls in a truck.

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But all of that changed at 41st Street and Westport Avenue on that fateful May day in 2003. For the first time ever, Sioux Falls residents were going to experience freshly made Krispy Kremes cooked to perfection right in front of their eyes as they waited in line.

I was one of the first in line on that Tuesday morning 20 years ago and I have the t-shirt to prove it.

Jeff Harkness/Townsquare Media
Jeff Harkness/Townsquare Media

Even though Krispy Kreme had already been around for nearly 66 years (founded July 13, 1937, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina) before they opened up shop in Sioux Falls, I hadn't been exposed to them up until the late '90s.

I was visiting my sister in Southern California where a Krispy Kreme location had just opened. She asked if I wanted to give them a try and I remember thinking that a doughnut was just a doughnut.

Until we pulled up.

There was a line of cars around the building trying to get into the drive-thru, while dozens of people were patiently waiting in a line that stretched well beyond the front door.

Several minutes later, with a fresh, hot-out-of-the-oven original glazed doughnut in my mouth, I was hooked!

So when the Sioux Falls location became a reality nearly four years later, I was ecstatic.

I couldn't get enough Krispy Kreme in my life.

Krispy Kreme Sioux Falls Swag
Townsquare Media

It wasn't just the doughnuts. Soon, shirts, coffee mugs, and even a Department 56 Krispy Kreme Christmas house found their way to my house.

Sadly, the Sioux Falls Krispy Kreme nirvana wasn't meant to be.

Whether it was the sudden popularity of the low-carb Atkins Diet, an overly aggressive expansion plan for Krispy Kreme, or both, the doors to the Sioux Falls store closed in 2006.

41st Street & Westport Avenue - Sioux Falls
Google Maps Streetview

This is the most recent Google Maps image of the former Krispy Kreme building.

But I'll always have those three glorious years to look back on fondly.

In the meantime, I'll be looking for the 'Hot Light' to shine the next time I'm in Omaha...

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