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AMAZING GLAZING MOM, SON, DELIVER DELIGHTS TO DOORSTEP; PUT KRISPY KREME ON WHEELS.

Byline: Angela M. Lemire Staff Writer

SANTA CLARITA - The mother and son team of Judy and Christopher Gibson saw holes in their business proposition from the beginning.

But they knew that would be their greatest selling point.

The Valencia residents are the first known partners in the area to offer a specialty courier business - one that caters to doughnut lovers.

Specifically, their Donut Runner service delivers still-warm-from-the- oven doughnuts of the Krispy Kreme variety to Santa Clarita Valley residents and businesses, to save customers the 45-minute round trip to the closest franchise, a newly opened Krispy Kreme in Van Nuys.

Since they are not an agent or subcontractor of Krispy Kreme, Donut Runner purchases the doughnuts at retail price from the nearest store and charges customers the same price, plus a $5 delivery charge per dozen. Customers pay $10 per dozen for original glazed doughnuts and $12 for assorted doughnuts.

And after a month in business, the idea has begun selling like hotcakes to Santa Claritans.

With Mom doing the number crunching and promotional work, Christopher, 26, has answered a steady and growing demand for the hot, melty doughnut treats that has kept him on the road between 6 a.m. and noon daily for the last month. He begins delivering early morning orders around 7:30 a.m., makes a second run to Van Nuys between 10 and 11 a.m. for additional orders, and makes final deliveries by noon. Heat-protective containers keep the doughnuts hot.

A former Air Force security police officer and certified emergency medical technician, Christopher's goal is to build up enough clientele to quit his night job at a local shipping company, go back to school to pursue a career in public safety and continue to support himself through school.

``It's fun, it's exciting, and everyone loves Krispy Kreme,'' said Judy Gibson, who works for a publishing company and specializes in Chamber of Commerce publications.

Added Christopher: ``You should see people's faces when I deliver their Krispy Kremes. ... And every once in a while I like to indulge myself.''

The younger Gibson originally got the idea about a year ago, he said, while working in Orange County and trying a Krispy Kreme doughnut there for the first time.

He remembered how the glazed doughnut melted in his mouth like cotton candy, and recalled, ``I thought, wow, they should have these out (in Santa Clarita).''

He had heard of a man successfully launching a similar delivery service in Los Angeles not too long ago. When the 65-year-old corporation opened the Van Nuys location last fall, he knew the idea had promise, he said.

The Gibsons contacted Krispy Kreme headquarters and learned that no Santa Clarita location was planned for at least the next few years, so they figured they had a unique opportunity to tap into a market.

``I'll do this until I can't do it anymore and there's no demand,'' said Christopher Gibson.

For now, he says he's enjoying great satisfaction working for himself, setting his hours and carving out his own success.

He added, ``Working for yourself, you can control your own destiny.''

To reach the Donut Runner, call (661) 222-9169. The Gibsons recommend that customers call ahead the night before for early morning deliveries and large orders.

CAPTION(S):

3 photos

Photo:

(1 -- color in SAC only -- also ran in Conejo and Simi editions) Chris Gibson of Donut Runner heads to Van Nuys to load up on Krispy Kreme doughnuts for delivery to Santa Clarita.

(2 -- 3 -- color in SAC edition only -- 2 -- ran in SAC only-- 3 ran in SAC and Valley editions only) Donut Runner owner and delivery man Chris Gibson, above, goes about the business of satifying the Santa Clarita Valley's sweet tooth. At left, he delivers to Wendy Bailey at a medical office building on his morning route.

Hans Gutknecht/Staff Photographer
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Mar 20, 2000
Words:643
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