The Winchell’s Donuts branch in Garapan officially closed its doors last Monday, a move that surprised many who have come to love the fastfood pastry shop that has been doing business on Saipan the past 31 years.
While its Garapan location has been shuttered, Winchell’s Donuts in Susupe across Kanoa Resort remains open.
Winchell’s Susupe sales clerk Thelma Dacumos, who was stationed in Garapan, said that prior to Monday, they did not have an idea that management was going to close the Garapan branch.
“It was abrupt and we did not know that we will close down the Garapan branch. A lot of our equipment is still there and other employees are moving them right now. I do know that the lessor wanted the space back,” she said.
Dacumos said the closure could have something to do with issues on the current lease contract of the building that housed the Garapan branch.
“As far as I know, our contract lease in Garapan was supposed to run for five years and we have only consumed two years of that,” she said.
Customer Annie Lopena, a Garapan resident, said she heard that the Winchell’s branch in Garapan closed last Friday.
“I was surprised and now that we need to drive all the way from Garapan to Susupe to buy donuts is inconvenient. Like today, if we didn’t drop by the post office in Chalan Kanoa, we wouldn’t be here in their Susupe branch, their only branch now,” she said.
“Winchell’s is our “go-to-place” whenever my 10-year-old daughter, Tricia, wants a quick snack and when she has pot luck gathering with her friends because aside from the taste, they are really affordable and we know they met U.S. standards in preparing the food,” she added.
Twenty-one-year-old Maria Valencia considers herself a Winchell’s baby as she grew up patronizing the store.
“I feel like the closure of the Garapan branch is a waste because they just moved there as they used to be where Cha Café is now. I also feel sad because Winchell’s Garapan was close to everything like the hospital,” she added.
Winchell’s Susupe branch is the only branch standing at this point, fervently serving the community in many ways they know how.
“I would like to hope that we are going to open another branch somewhere so we could fill the closure of the Garapan branch and still cater to our regular customers,” Dacumos said.