Last Updated on February 11, 2019
How do you sell doughnuts? Just cut a hole in the wall of your bakery.
Okay, that sounds a little crazy, but it’s true! Back in 1937, Vernon Rudolph cut a hole in an outside wall of his doughnut bakery shop and started selling Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughnuts directly to customers who were passing by.
Bu, let’s go back to the beginning…
In 1937, Vernon Rudolph, founder of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, bought a secret doughnut recipe from a New Orleans French chef. He rented a building in Winston-Salem, (now known as Old Salem), North Carolina, and began selling his doughnuts to local grocery stores.
As his doughnuts baked, the mouthwatering scents drifted into the street, enticing passersby to stop in and ask if they could buy a hot doughnut. Rudolph simply didn’t have enough room in his bakery to set up a display and sales counter, so he did the next best thing: he cut a hole in an outside wall and started selling Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughnuts directly to customers on the outside.
Throughout the 1940’s, Rudolph’s one store grew into a small chain of stores. Although all the store owners used the Kripsy Kreme recipe, making their doughnuts from scratch, Rudolph didn’t find the results to be consistent from one store to the next. His solution was to build a mix plant and set up a distribution system that would deliver the perfect dry doughnut mix to each Krispy Kreme store.
He didn’t stop there. In the 1950’s, Rudolph and his equipment engineers invented and built their own Krispy Kreme doughnut making machine. Their focus was on improving and automating the doughnut making process.
During the 1960s, Krispy Kreme stores opened throughout the southeast United States. The design of Krispy Kreme stores became consistent including the hallmark green tile roofs and heritage road signs.
Vernon Rudolph died in 1973. Growth slowed and the company was sold to Beatrice Foods Company in 1976.
In 1982, Krispy Kreme was bought back from Beatrice Foods by a group of early franchisees. They opened their first store in New York City in 1996. In 1999, the first store in California opened and national expansion had begun.
When Krispy Kreme turned 60 years old in 1997, it donated company artifacts to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. Krispy Kreme was officially recognized as a 20th century American icon.
In April 2001, Krispy Kreme opened their first international store in Toronto, Canada. In 2003, they opened stores in Sydney, Australia and in London, England. Their international expansion continued with stores opening in Asia, Mexico, the Middle East, Puerto Rico, and Turkey.
As they carry on with their international expansion, Krispy Kreme continues to work on delicious new products. What can we say to that? Yummy!
Communications and Marketing
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