On July 13, 1937, Vernon Rudolph began making yeast-raised doughnuts in a rented building in Winston-Salem. He used a secret recipe he had bought from a New Orleans French pastry chef. The name “Krispy Kreme” had come with the recipe, and Rudolph decided to keep it. He initially sold his glazed confections to local groceries, but when people started asking to buy his fresh, hot doughnuts, he cut a hole in the bakery’s wall and began selling them directly to customers.
By the 1960s, Krispy Kreme stores had spread throughout the Southeast. To improve the made-from-scratch doughnuts’ consistency, Rudolph built a mix plant and developed a dry dough that was delivered to each store. He also hired engineers to design Krispy Kreme’s own doughnut-making equipment. With increased efficiency and new doughnut flavors, the company continued to grow.
After Rudolph died in 1973, Beatrice Foods Company bought Krispy Kreme, but some early franchisees bought the company back in 1982. By 1999, Krispy Kreme had expanded nationwide. The company went public in April 2000 and opened its first international store in Canada in 2001.
Today, Krispy Kreme has more than 500 stores across the United States and in 21 countries worldwide.