Krispy Kreme ‘sneaks up’ on Hoover

Published 3:44 pm Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Owner Vince McAleer opened his newest Krispy Kreme location off U.S. 280 in Hoover on July 6. (Reporter photo/Jon Goering)


HOOVER – Birmingham Krispy Kreme owner Vince McAleer said he tried to sneak up on everyone by opening a new Krispy Kreme location on U.S. 280, but it’s “hard to sneak up on 280,” he said.

McAleer, who owns Krispy Kreme locations in Hoover, East Lake and Midfield, said they started construction during spring break on the new donut shop located at 5357 U.S. 280 in Hoover. The store was officially open for business on July 6.

“We’ve got free Wi-Fi and televisions where everyone can watch the weather,” McAleer said. “They either watch for storms or heat – I’m not sure which is more popular.”

When asked how local residents have reacted to the store’s opening, McAleer said the customer traffic is “like they kicked an ant bed.”

“We’ve been extremely busy. It’s interesting to see how traffic flows,” McAleer said. “It’s been very similar to my Hoover store (at 1990 New Patton Chapel Road). At night, we’re packed. People get out here after 6 p.m., and you can’t stir them with a stick.

“We go from it not looking very busy to ‘wham,’ we’re full. We’ve got a lot of seating inside,” he added. “We have another 16 seats outside, and at night, we’re all full.”

Following a family tradition, McAleer has been involved with Krispy Kreme franchising for about 30 years.

“My dad had a franchise before me and is still involved,” he said. “My dad and uncle started a franchise in Mobile in 1953.”

McAleer said he has been looking to open a store on U.S. 280 for the past 10 years but never found the right location until now.

“(U.S.) 280 is a challenge to find the right location. There are a lot of places on 280 that aren’t accessible because of the traffic. It’s a challenge,” McAleer said. “I felt like, in getting this far down on 280, the population of this area between Greystone, Brook Highlands, Chelsea and Leeds, as well as going back towards Highway 65, I felt the population could support the doughnut shop during the times when traffic is down.”

McAleer said the neon red “hot now” signs outside his stores serves his business well.

“You might as well call it an open or closed sign. One of the funnier things about Krispy Kreme is that people don’t call and ask if we have hot donuts. They call and ask if the light’s on,” McAleer said. “It’s kind of funny. It doesn’t even need to say ‘hot now;’ we just need to have a light. People don’t read it. It’s either on or it’s off.”