The new operator of Arizona’s decimated Krispy Kreme franchise is looking at opening doughnut stores again in the Valley.

Earlier this month the previous franchise owner, “Doughnut” Dan Brinton, abruptly shut down all locations except for the Mesa factory store at 6626 E. Superstition Springs Blvd. Brinton’s Tucson operation shut down in June.

Hot Glazed Enchantment has exclusive Krispy Kreme development rights for Sacramento, Calif., New Mexico and now Arizona. Partner Paul Tanner said the franchise is looking “pretty aggressively” at opening several new locations over the next year or two — and is even in discussion with the landlord of the recently closed Chandler store at 4200 S. Arizona Ave. about the possibility of reopening that site.

For now, though, the Mesa factory store is the focus.

“We’re going to remodel the store, just add some branding elements and clean up the store,” he said. “It needs a little refresh.”

From there, Tanner said, the franchise will start opening up smaller “hot shops” at which customers can expect fresh, warm doughnuts delivered regularly.

”We’re excited to be in the market,” Tanner said.

He said the majority of the workers at the Mesa store were rehired, and the organization is now actively hiring employees and managers, “especially with Krispy Kreme experience.” Anyone interested can inquire at the Mesa location.

The franchise is working with Velocity Retail Group to identify properties for expansion, particularly in the East Valley and central Phoenix area.

Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation, based in North Carolina, did not respond to requests for comment.

Brinton, the former franchisee, ran a Krispy Kreme chain in Texas that folded in the middle of the last decade before buying the Mesa store directly from Krispy Kreme in 2008. The store had been closed previously in 2006. Brinton left the doughnut business to focus on other interests: He owns a Scottsdale restaurant, Beauregard Food Co., adjacent to what was the DC Ranch Krispy Kreme store.

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