At 8.00am on the last day of February 2018, Krispy Kreme Manukau will finally open its doors to New Zealand. The doughnut chain has developed something of a cult following in New Zealand, despite never having been available here. This didn’t come as a surprise to Krispy Kreme Australia and New Zealand CEO Andrew McGuigan, who has spent the last few years looking to launch the franchise from across the ditch.

“Obviously it’s a retail business, but at its heart it is also a manufacturing business,” he explained. “We spent a couple of years looking around New Zealand just to find a space that would work with a dining room, a drive-thru and with 24-hour trade potential, but also big enough to meet our back-of-house manufacturing requirements.”

Krispy Kreme’s new facility will feature two production lines, which, when running at full capacity, can create 4,320 of the doughnuts every hour. In a year the machine can produce enough doughnuts to stretch from Auckland to Sydney and beyond. If stacked on top of each other, the number of doughnuts produced in a day would make 18 Sky Towers.

While space was a key driver in the selection of the Manukau site, the fact that the new location is near a Westfield and other food and retail outlets, as well as being just off a major motorway, meant that it ticked all the boxes. The store will create 180 jobs, around 80 percent of which have been filled by people from South Auckland.

“Krispy Kreme tries to make sure it builds genuine relationships with the community, as well as being supported by a larger head office over in Sydney,” he said. “There will be an amazing local management team, so as much as it is supported from Australia, we have tried to localise the management, to make it a Kiwi operation.”

Krispy Kreme is as much known for its seasonal specials as it is for its core range, and McGuigan believes that New Zealand will be no exception. “To begin with the New Zealand store will stock the core range, but as the business grows we’ll definitely be looking at making fun, exotic doughnuts,” he said. “It’s part of the Krispy Kreme DNA, to provide a local experience.”

So is it this local approach that has made Krispy Kreme the success that it is today? Yes and no, said McGuigan. “Krispy Kreme stands for sharing and joy and people generally being happy. It’s a celebration, and an occasion-based product, and this ‘halo of happiness’ is always going to be appealing. On the other hand, what also appeals the fact that it is a local, handmade product of the highest quality.” The Manukau branch will support local producers and suppliers where possible, with the remainder being shipped from Australia.

With the popularity of Krispy Kreme already well established, even before the store has even opened, McGuigan is looking in the medium term to expand operations. “We are going to look at expanding in the Auckland region immediately,” he said. While expansion in the South Island could also prove lucrative, it is logistics which will be the barrier. “Obviously with a fresh, handmade product we can’t be shipping things around too much, so we’d have to find a space in Christchurch as a manufacturing base.”