Krispy Kreme opens first Russia store
by Kathy Lally, The Washington Post, Sept. 12, 2013
MOSCOW — Here on Nikolskaya Street, in the shadow of the Kremlin, Russia’s first book was printed in 1564, its first college was opened in 1685 and its first newspaper was published in 1703. The Krispy Kreme doughnut arrived Thursday.
The line for doughnuts began forming at 11 a.m. Wednesday, 22 hours before the historic moment when Krispy Kreme opened for business in Russia. By 9 a.m. Thursday, 200 people were waiting. First inside would win doughnuts for a year.
“They put something in it,” Susanna Agababyan, 21, mused, wondering why she so savored the doughnut she had just eaten. “I had the original. It’s really tasty.”
Agababyan, a translator of Italian, had a box with a dozen doughnuts in her lap. She sat at an outdoor table with a friend, Mikhail Kiselyov, a 22-year-old accounting student. “Today I tasted this for the first time,” Kiselyov said, “and I decided maybe it was worth it.”
That would be chocolate with sprinkles.
Nikolskaya lies in the heart of 866-year-old Moscow. The dreaded Lubyanka, home of the security police, looms above one end of the street. At the other end lies the imposing Kremlin, where dark theories regularly emerge about the United States and its eagerness to interfere in Russian affairs. On Thursday, in an opinion article published in the New York Times, President Vladimir Putin scolded the United States for considering itself exceptional. Off in America, President Obama was being criticized by some for handling Russia badly.
Has no one told them that here in Great Russia American calories rule? A Subway sandwich shop operates at the other end of lovely old Nikolskaya Street, which also has a Beverly Hills Diner tucked in among expensive Italian clothing stores and elegant restaurants. A nearby McDonald’s dishes out one Big Mac after another to a stream of customers. Dunkin’ Donuts dot the city.
“Russians are not opposed to what America produces,” Agababyan said.
The store was brought here by Arkady Novikov, a Russian restaurant magnate who specializes in buzz. An original Krispy Kreme doughnut was about $1.60 Thursday. That’s about a third of the price of a small eclair at one of the city’s big coffee house chains.>>