History and Legacy of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts has been around for more than 75 years. Originating in Winston-Salem North Carolina, the famous donut shop was opened by a man named Vernon Rudolph. Mr. Rudolph bought a secret recipe from a French chef in New Orleans for raised yeast donuts and rented the building that would-be home to the first ever Krispy Kreme Doughnut shop. On the morning of July 13th, 1937 Krispy Kreme began selling its doughnuts to the local grocery stores of Winston-Salem. The smell of the freshly made doughnuts was so good however that people passing by the shop on the street stopped and asked if they could buy some directly. So, Vernon cut a hole in the wall and gave the people what they asked for.

By the 1940’s and 50’s a small chain of mostly family-owned stores existed. Every shop used the same recipe Mr. Rudolph bought from the French baker, but they all made the doughnuts from scratch. While the results of making them from scratch were always good, they weren’t consistent enough for Vernon. He then began a system that distributed a dry doughnut mix to every store and with a team of engineers he built a doughnut making machine. From that point forward the focus of Krispy Kreme was improving and perfecting their unique doughnut-making process.

Throughout the 60’s the company continued to grow outside it’s intended roots throughout the southeastern United States. Growth began to slow when the Mr. Vernon Rudolph passed away in 1973. Beatrice Foods Company bought Krispy Kreme in 1976. However, in 1982 a group of early franchisees purchased a portion of Krispy Kreme back from Beatrice Foods Company. They began to expand the chain of stores outside of the southeast US and opened the first store in New York City in 1996. Shortly after that in 1999, the first store opened in California, and the national growth began. Now Krispy Kreme has stores all over the world open carrying on the legacy of Vernon Rudolph.