Whether it’s the flashing “Hot Now” light, the sweet aroma, or the incredible display cases filled with glazed, frosted, and filled doughnuts that draw you in, there’s no denying the allure of Krispy Kreme.
Now an American icon, the company has served hot and fresh doughnuts for 86 years.
But how did the iconic company get its start? What exactly is the logo? How can you score a free doughnut?
Find out all that and more below with these 11 facts about Krispy Kreme!
Krispy Kreme’s secret signature recipe came from a New Orleans chef.
Vernon Rudolph, the founder of Krispy Kreme, purchased the secret recipe for a “yeast-raised doughnut” from a French New Orleans-based chef in 1933.
Rudolph worked for his uncle at this time, where they sold doughnuts and many other things at a general.
The founder cut a hole in the wall of the Winston-Salem Krispy Kreme to sell doughnuts to customers on the street.
When Vernon Rudolph first opened his Winston-Salem Krispy Kreme location, he sold the doughnuts directly to grocery stores.
Passersby were so allured by the smell coming from inside that they’d stop by to ask how they could buy them.
Ever the forward-thinker, Rudolph cut a hole in the wall to install a sales window, allowing customers to walk right up and purchase doughnuts straight from the source.
The secret recipe for the original doughnuts may contain mashed potatoes.
The founder’s son and a historian have concluded that the original recipe was a mixture of “fluffed egg whites, mashed potatoes, sugar, shortening and skim milk.”
The chilled mixture was combined with flour, fried, and covered in a delicious glaze.
No one knows for certain, though, since the secret recipe is kept under lock and key in a vault in the Winston-Salem headquarters.
The Ring King Jr. was a technological marvel in the doughnut industry.
The franchise’s automatic doughnut-making machine was, at one time, considered the most advanced device of its kind.
The company donated the machine to the Smithsonian Institution on Krispy Kreme’s 60th birthday in 1997.
The invention of the Ring King came about by necessity.
Even though each store worked with the same recipes, they made all the doughnuts in-house, and the taste and texture varied from store to store.
Rudolph decided Krispy Kreme should have its own mix plant and doughnut-making machine to make the product more consistent.
The company focused on automating the doughnut-making process throughout the ’40s and ’50s.
The iconic logo is a bow tie.
If you’ve ever wondered what exactly that shape is, you’re not alone. According to the company’s official Twitter account, it’s a bowtie.
It was trademarked in 1955 and is still used today.
They invented the “Hot Now” light in 1992.
There’s something magical and delightful about biting into a fluffy, hot doughnut right off the conveyor belt.
The franchise installed the “Hot Doughnuts Now” light in stores in 1992 to alert customers driving or walking by that doughnuts were available hot and fresh.
Although they still use the lights today, there’s an even easier way to find out when hot doughnuts are available.
Krispy Kreme has a 24/7 vending machine in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Charlotte, North Carolina, is home to the first Krispy Kreme vending machine.
It dispenses doughnuts 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can enjoy a sweet treat whenever the mood strikes.
The doughnuts come in three packs, including an original glazed doughnut, one with chocolate, and one fruity version.
Krispy Kreme does weddings.
Sure, you can make one yourself using a tiered cake stand, but in the U.K. (and some locations in the U.S.), doughnut towers are available for weddings directly from Krispy Kreme.
It’s an 8-tier tower with alternating levels of original glazed doughnuts and the more decadent flavors.
Considering the average wedding cake costs about $350 in the United States, a doughnut tower can be a more affordable option.
Forget candy bars—doughnuts are great for fundraising.
Schools, churches, and other fundraising groups have found one thing to be true: Krispy Kreme doughnuts can help rake in the dough.
Krispy Kreme began its fundraising program in 1955, and it continues to be a strong earner for groups raising money.
In 2020 alone, organizations raised more than $37 million in funds by selling these doughnuts.
For NCSU students, the Krispy Kreme Challenge is a rite of passage before graduation.
Can you run 2.5 miles (4.02 km), scarf down a dozen doughnuts, and finish it with another 2.5-mile run?
That’s what the Krispy Kreme Challenge is – a tradition started by ten friends but now an annual event for North Carolina State students.
In 2020, 5,489 runners participated in the 16th annual challenge. The carb and sugar load are worth it, though.
The proceeds, which amounted to $175,000 in 2020, are donated to the UNC Children’s Hospital.
The 2022 Krispy Kreme Challenge was a virtual event.
They give away lots of free doughnuts.
Are you looking to score a free doughnut? You have plenty of opportunities to do just that.
The company gives away a free doughnut of your choice every year on National Doughnut Day, the first Friday in June.
Students can get a free original glazed doughnut for every A on their report card, up to 6 A’s.
To get a free doughnut, sign up for the club via the app, walk in on your birthday, show up on Halloween if you’re wearing a costume, and stop by on Veteran’s Day if you’ve ever served in the military.
Enjoy one with a hot cup of coffee to celebrate your newfound knowledge of the chain that serves up your favorite doughnut delicacy.
Cheers to (hopefully) many more decades of glazed goodness.