Krispy Kreme is a household brand that has been around for over 75 years and serves thousands of heavenly tasting donuts every day. It wasn’t always the wholesome American brand that we now know it today as. The company had humble beginnings and first opened its doors for operation on July 13, 1937. The company was founded by Vernon Rudolph after he purchased a secret recipe from a French Chef in New Orleans. His very first store was centered around making hot fresh donuts to be delivered to grocery stores every morning.
After being open for some time people eventually started to smell the fresh donuts every day and wandered into his store asking if they could buy the fresh donuts straight from him. Vernon decided that every day would begin selling the donuts fresh directly to the paying customers and blew a hole in his store’s wall and sold them straight to people on the street with smashing success.
Throughout the forties and fifties, Vernon made efforts to expand and opened a few more locations but most of them were family-owned.
These new stores still used Vernon’s secret recipe. Having multiple stores brought up some problems that had to be fixed if they wanted to form the strong brand that it is today. Each store used the same secret recipe but every day they were created from scratch. Even with the same recipe, the consistency between stores was not the same. To aid in the consistency issue Rudolph and a team of engineers developed a mixing plant that would create dry batter to be sent to stores daily to help combat the inconsistency.
After fixing the consistency issue Vernon set his sights on improving his brand and its efficiency. He got together with Engineers again and began developing a machine that could produce the donuts. Improving automation and forming a consistent brand was a main focus throughout the fifties. Throughout the sixties, the Krispy Kreme brand started to evolve into a more widespread and recognizable symbol of American culture.
They started to create a consistent image and developed the now iconic green tile roof and logo sign. As Krispy Kreme started to come to prominence and had plans to expand out of the Southeast United States. The company was rocked by the news of Vernon’s passing on August 16th, 1973. At the time of his death, the company had expanded to sixty different stores. After his death, the company became stagnant and started to struggle until 1976 when it was sold to Beatrice Food Company. In 1982 there was somewhat of a mutiny against Beatrice Foods and a small group of early store owners bought out the Krispy Kreme. The new focus of the owners was to focus on the donut experience. With new ownership at the helm of the brand, it began to expand out of its comfort zone in the southeast. One of its first locations out of the southeast region was a store that opened in New York City in 1996. After their expansion to the North, they now set their sights on expanding Westward and reached that goal in 1999 with a store opening in California. Now the dream of having Krispy Kreme locations around the United States was well on its way to happening.
Upon the company’s 60’th birthday the company was recognized as a twentieth-century icon and the company graciously donated some of its donut-making equipment to the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington D.C. In April 2000 ownership decided to finally take the company public and offer stock after being privately owned for sixty-three years. The company made history in December 2001 and went international with the opening of a Krispy Kreme location in Toronto, Canada. Soon after in 2003 the company set its sights on locations across the pond and took the country to the continents of Europe with the opening of a location in England and the continent of Australia with a location opening in Sydney. Since then Krispy Kreme’s business has been booming and they have rapidly expanded. They now have over seven hundred stores and are still expanding every year. From humble beginnings in a small southeast town to a now-massive worldwide corporation it is now obvious that the world is obsessed with Krispy Kreme’s delicious glazed donuts.