Happy Birthday Krispy Kreme: Kentucky’s Role in Donut Giant’s 75th Anniversary

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BY RL REEVES JR

Krispy Kreme by Keegan Frank. Ace 2009.

When Vernon Carter Rudolph bought a donut shop in Paducah Kentucky in 1933 he had no way of knowing that he was taking tentative steps toward creating an American cultural icon.

Along with the freshly purchased store came a recipe (titled Krispy Kreme) created by the store’s owner, a chef from France who had previously plied his trade in New Orleans. It took awhile but  Rudolph eventually capitalized on his new business.

He moved to Nashville, then Winston-Salem North Carolina where he opened a donut wholesaler on July 13th 1937. Popular lore has it that Rudolph had $25 to his name at this point. The smell of the nascent donut factory drove the townfolk wild so Rudolph cut a hole in the wall and started selling his delicacies to passers-by.

Anyone who’s ever driven by a Krispy Kreme when the hot donuts now sign is flashing can attest to their power.

Vernon Carter Rudolph helmed his company for thirty six years before he passed away. The company was sold by his heirs to the Beatrice Corporation.

Check your local Krispy Kreme for 75th anniversary for special promotions.

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