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Krispy Kreme Celebrates Its 87th Birthday

Krispy Kreme celebrates its 87th birthday on Saturday, July 13. Did you know the international doughnut chain started right here in Winston-Salem?

July 10, 2024

The Start of Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme’s founder, Vernon Rudolph, bought the original doughnut recipe from a New Orleans French chef in 1933. He opened the first Krispy Kreme in Old Salem in 1937 and only sold the doughnuts to local grocery stores at first.

  • The Lightbulb Moment: Realizing there was an interest in having hot, freshly made doughnuts, he began offering them to customers right from the bakery.
  • Looking Back: The original Krispy Kreme store closed and was torn down years ago. If you’re walking through Old Salem, you can find a plaque at the corner of S Main Street and W Academy Street commemorating where the store once stood.


Krispy Kreme Doughnut Shop Plaque in Old Salem
Krispy Kreme Doughnut Shop Plaque in Old Salem


Krispy Kreme Timeline

As Krispy Kreme expanded over the ‘40s and ‘50s, the company opened its own mix plant and delivered the dry dough to each franchise location. This operating model ensured consistency in quality and taste no matter which location customers visited. Afterward, Krispy Kreme also created its own doughnut-making machinery.

  • Changes in Leadership: Vernon Rudolph passed away in 1973, and the company went through a slump when it was sold to Beatrice Foods in 1976. However, a group of franchisees bought back the business in 1982 and made the hot doughnut experience its focal point.
  • Growth: During this time, Krispy Kreme began to open locations outside the Southeast US, truly making it an iconic American tradition.


Modern Day

Over the next several decades, Krispy Kreme continued expanding across the United States and even into other countries.

  • The Numbers: Currently, the franchise has over 350 national locations and is in over 35 countries!
  • Zoom in: There are 30 Krispy Kremes in North Carolina! Only three other states have more locations: California, Florida, and Georgia.


Celebrate Krispy Kreme’s Birthday

In honor of its birthday, you can buy a dozen Original Glazed doughnuts and spend an additional $.87 to get a second dozen on Friday, July 12.


Want to learn more about the history of our city? Check out our list of facts every resident of Winston-Salem should know!


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The Go-To Winston-Salem

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