Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Fast food aficionado first in line at new St. Pete Krispy Kreme

ST. PETERSBURG — The man in aviator spectacles, black basketball shorts and a Chick-fil-A T-shirt reclined in his fold-out chair and flipped lightly, leisurely through a spy novel.

Four hours had passed since Richard Coley, 62, arrived outside Krispy Kreme's newest store at 9100 Fourth St. N on Wednesday.

He was relaxed, ignoring his digital watch. Enjoying the unusually cool breeze on this late September evening, the clean smell that comes after days of rain.

He planned to be the first customer in line when doors opened Thursday at 6 a.m., the sole winner of 624 free donuts. (That's a dozen a week for a year.)

"They are absolutely the best when that light comes on," he said, "when they're fresh out of the fryer and they've just been dipped."

By 7 p.m. Wednesday evening, three people were in line behind him.

Coley, who was born and raised in St. Petersburg, didn't bring any food. He was saving room for the morning's first batch of original glazed. He brought nothing besides his chair and book.

He needed no stimulation beyond the Washington, D.C. secret agent chasing a killer through the pages of Act of Treason.

He planned to stretch when his legs grow stiff, nap when his eyes feel heavy.

It's part of a seven-year routine. Around the time he got cancer, around the time he lost his job as a computer technician, Coley vowed to set a fast food world record.

"Unofficial," he said.

He traveled the country in his old Geo Metro, determined to attend more Chik-Fil-A grand openings than any other American.

He has made it to 109 in 26 states. He was one of the first hundred people in line in Twin Falls, Idaho and Flagstaff, Ariz., where he won free meals for a year.

He wears a white Chik-fil-A band on each wrist.

"I'm very religious," he said, "and I love the chicken."

Coley saw an article about the Krispy Kreme opening in the Tampa Bay Times. He had just fixed his 86-year-old mother lunch when he learned about the prize, another victory for his journal of fast food adventures.

"Then I knew I had plans for today," he said. "I'm doing what I'd normally do — read, sleep. But now I'm getting paid in doughnuts."

Fast food aficionado first in line at new St. Pete Krispy Kreme 09/25/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 9:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Six new restaurants opening this summer: Burgerim, Rocco's Tacos, American Social

    Food & Dining


    Feeling a little peckish? You're in luck, with a big raft of new restaurants poised to launch, including three at International Plaza.


    In the fast-casual arena, Burgerim is opening in late July at 800 N Franklin St. in Tampa. The concept is mini burgers, so you won’t be eating just one.
  2. Hernando County Commission rejects plan for waste-to-energy plant

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — After several years of discussion, many hours of staff time trying to negotiate a contract and questions about viability, the Hernando County Commission this week voted unanimously to turn down a contract with Freedom Energy Hernando LLC and abandoned the idea of having the county spearhead a …

     Commissioner John Allocco made the motion to deny the contract to Freedom Energy.
  3. Lack of parking for boat trailers causing turmoil along Port Richey waterfront

    Local Government

    PORT RICHEY — As Memorial Day and the summer boating season approach, the city of Port Richey finds itself in turmoil over parking along the city's waterfront.

    Gill Dawg restaurant owner Erik Suojanen, standing on property he owns across from his business, discusses a notice of violation he received from the city for allowing parking there without a submitting a site plan to the city.
 [Photo by Robert Napper]
  4. Tampa court hearing rescheduled for accused neo-Nazi jihadist killer


    TAMPA — Attorneys for Devon Arthurs, the alleged former neo-Nazi turned jihadist accused of shooting to death his two roommates, have asked to reschedule a court hearing that had been set for Wednesday morning.

    Devon Arthurs, 18, and his friend Brandon Russell, 22, never outgrew the extremist ideology of a disaffected youth, according to an acquaintance. Arthurs is now accused of shooting to death two of their roommates and Russell faces federal charges in connection with bomb-making materials found in their apartment. [Tampa Police Department]
  5. Parent of struggling DeVry University is changing its name to Adtalem


    Associated Press

    DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. — The company that owns one of the nation's largest for-profit college chains is changing its name.

    This 2009 photo shows the entrance to the DeVry University in Miramar, Fla. DeVry Education Group, which owns DeVry University, announced Wednesday that it will now be called Adtalem Global Education. 
[Associated Press file photo]