- Jordan Adams ©️ Seven Days
- A stash of Koffee Kup Bakery products
Last April, when I found out that Koffee Kup Bakery had abruptly shut down production, I grabbed my keys and burned rubber. With factories in Burlington and Brattleboro, the company made one of my favorite treats: a sugar-blasted Cruller Donut. I raced to snap up as many of the cellophane-wrapped goodies as I could, because the ones on the shelves were surely the last in existence.
After hitting two grocery stores and half a dozen gas stations, I'd amassed a hefty stash of 20-odd crullers, along with some hamburger buns and a couple of boxes of other Koffee Kup doughnuts. I enjoyed one cruller and put the rest in my freezer to savor bit by bit.
Just shy of a year later, I had one cruller left. I ate it with my morning coffee just before writing this.
Why the hysteria around a freaking cruller? Because Koffee Kup's packaged doughnuts – crullers, cake and raised alike — were head and shoulders above similar mass-produced products. Country Kitchen Fine Donuts? Not fine by me. Krispy Kreme? The Winston-Salem, N.C., company might have two Ks in its name, but it kan't hold a kandle to Koffee Kup.
Koffee Kup's cruller has been with me my entire life, and I'll be 40 next year. It was there for me as a post-church treat on Sundays. It gave me a boost in the 15-minute windows between school and play rehearsal. It was waiting for me when I visited Vermont during the years I lived in California. Its recipe and packaging never seemed to change. Its place in my heart surely didn't.
When I told my California-based brother about the company's shutdown and my stockpile of pastries, he asked if I could send him some. I put four in the mail. A Cali-based former Vermonter friend planned to visit in summer 2021. I promised her one. When I gave it to her, she ate half of it, then looked longingly at the remainder, wistfully creasing its crinkly wrapper.
"I should save this for my parents," she said solemnly. I laughed and gave her two to go.
As my stash dwindled, I contemplated selling a few crullers. I wondered how much I could get for a pair on Craigslist or the Facebook group BlackMarket-U. But it felt wrong to profit from the messy situation. Obviously, the loss of a consumer product pales in comparison with the job losses that Koffee Kup employees experienced when the factories closed. I hope their ongoing lawsuit against the company has a satisfactory outcome.
Though it spent nearly a year in my freezer, its brethren long gone, my last cruller did not disappoint. Dense yet tender, more savory than sweet, it was everything I'd built it up to be.