It’s 5AM, Soho, Manhattan and dozens of people are already in line. Only 3 hours until the Dominique Ansel bakery opens. Are they looking for work? No, they’re queuing for New York’s food craze of 2013: the cronut. And when the shop opens they’ll happily hand over $10 for a box containing just two of the pastries. It is said that they can be resold at 10 times the retail price, but as each customer is allowed just one box, this would be a hard way to make a living.
The cronut craze started in mid-May 2013 when bloggers spread the word about this new combination of donut and croissant at this new bakery. Baker-proprietor Ansel makes the flaky layers of a croissant into a ring shape, deep-fries it, then inserts patisserie cream and tops it off with a swirl of icing. Only 200 are made each day, so they sell out by just after 9.00 each morning. Ansel is trying to find a way to manufacture the cronut to meet demand throughout America. Until he does, the queues will persist.
Remarkably Ansel has been allowed to trademark the name ‘cronut’, so although he has many imitators already, the ‘doissant’, the ‘zonut’ and the ‘dosant’ have not been able to convince customers that they are the real thing. This has helped him keep the price at more than double the typical price for a New York pastry.
But are the cronuts any good? College students Danielle Owens and Camara Lewis clearly think so, as they’ve succeeded 6 times in queueing and eating the cakes. Each month Dominique Ansel changes the flavour of the pastry crème filling, to encourage repeat purchase. The Financial Times reports that ‘The deeply buttery pastry is wonderful, crispy and stacked high with greedy, messy-to-eat layers; the lemon-maple cream is pleasingly sickly’. Visitors from around the US make a beeline for the bakery Ansel has made a brilliant start so far to his business career. But can he turn the cronut into a nationwide success?
|The-Cronut-Craze 114 KB|
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