An enterprising Minnesota college student who drove to Iowa every weekend to buy hundreds of Krispy Kreme doughnuts that he then sold to his own customers in the Twin Cities area said he's shutting down his service after getting a warning from the confectionary giant.
There have been no Krispy Kreme stores in Minnesota for 11 years.
"I have been told I have to shut down operations," Jayson Gonzalez, 21, of Champlin, Minnesota, wrote to his Facebook followers. "I figured it would come eventually, but it arrived early."
Gonzalez would drive 270 miles to a Krispy Kreme store in Clive, Iowa, pack his car with up to 100 boxes, each carrying 12 doughnuts, then drive back up north to deliver them to customers in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
He charged $17 to $20 per box. He said some of his customers spent nearly $100 each time. Gonzalez said he did not receive a discount from the store in Iowa where he bought the doughnuts. A senior studying accounting at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Gonzalez was using his profits to pay down his student debt, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, which reported on his venture last month.
But less than a week after the St. Paul Pioneer Press report, Gonzalez received a phone call from Krispy Kreme's Nebraska office telling him to stop. The senior studying accounting at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul said he was told his sales created a liability for the North Carolina-based company.
Gonzalez, also known as "The Donut Guy," would have made his 20th run to Iowa on Saturday.
"Life happens, and it could be a sign that something else it meant to be," Gonzalez wrote on Facebook.
Some people bashed Krispy Kreme on social media, with others starting a hashtag on Twitter calling for a boycott of the company.
"You should be happy that people in Minnesota want your doughnuts badly enough to pay a runner to go pick them up in another state," one person posted on Krispy Kreme's Facebook page. "This college student is an entrepreneur in the true sense of the word, and I fail to see how this represents a liability for your company?"
In a statement Sunday night, Krispy Kreme said it's looking into the matter.
"We appreciate Jayson's passion for Krispy Kreme and his entrepreneurial spirit as he pursues his education," the statement read.