Knowing that Krispy Kreme makes some of the most irresistible and popular doughnuts in America, I spoke to an employee who gave me the inside scoop about the company. Besides the recipe for the iconic original glaze — I tried, but it's top secret! — here's what you might want to know about the American doughnut shop that's been around for almost 80 years.
The original location is still in Winston-Salem, NC.
"Krispy Kreme Doughnuts — and the Original Glazed® doughnut — have been around for nearly 80 years. The classic doughnut brand, founded in 1937, will celebrate its 80th birthday this July. Today, the company headquarters remain in Winston-Salem and Krispy Kreme has more than 1,300 shops in 31 countries around the world. Krispy Kreme doughnuts also can be found in approximately 12,000 grocery, convenience, and mass merchant stores throughout the United States."
And the origin story is pretty incredible.
"Krispy Kreme Doughnuts's founder Vernon Rudolph bought a secret yeast-raised doughnut recipe from a New Orleans French chef, rented a building in what is now historic Old Salem in Winston-Salem, NC, and began selling Krispy Kreme Doughnuts to local grocery stores. The delicious scent of cooking doughnuts drifted into the streets, and passersby stopped to ask if they could buy hot doughnuts. So, Rudolph cut a hole in an outside wall and started selling hot Original Glazed doughnuts directly to customers on the sidewalk."
There's a Hot Light app that tells you when the famous light is on.
"The Krispy Kreme Hot Light™, which was created in 1992 and has turned into an icon, is turned on whenever our signature Original Glazed doughnuts are being made. It signals that the doughnuts are hot and fresh coming off the line. We even have a Hot Light app that lets our customers know when our Original Glazed doughnuts are hot and fresh in their specific location."
There are unexpected menu items you might not have tried.
It's no surprise that the Original Glazed doughnut is the most popular Krispy Kreme order, but there are some unexpected menu items that you shouldn't overlook. "Krispy Kreme has dozens of doughnut menu items available at any given time – ranging from KREME™ filled varieties like the Chocolate-Iced with KREME filling, to premium treats such as the New York Cheesecake doughnut, to specialty holiday doughnuts, like the upcoming Fourth of July limited time offers."
Krispy Kreme goes through a LOT of chocolate icing.
"The average Krispy Kreme shop uses about 34,000 pounds of chocolate icing in a year, or about 2,800 pounds per month . . . and 2,500 pounds of sprinkles annually, or 210 pounds per month."
Krispy Kreme changed its coffee earlier this year.
"Earlier this year, the brand completely reinvented Krispy Kreme coffee from the bean to the cup. Our all-new coffee finally meets the delicious bar set by our doughnuts."
You can always look out for little ways to save money.
"Krispy Kreme has dozens (no pun intended) of promotions happening throughout the year. In fact, National Doughnut Day is June 2, and fans can celebrate their way by getting one free doughnut of their choice at participating shops." You can also join Krispy Kreme's E-Club to get a free doughnut on your birthday.
Shaquille O'Neal loves Krispy Kreme so much that he owns a location.
"Perhaps the biggest Krispy Kreme fan — literally — is basketball Hall-of-Famer and sports and entertainment superstar Shaquille O'Neal. This past October, O'Neal became an owner in Krispy Kreme's prestigious downtown Atlanta location on Ponce de Leon Avenue, which opened more than 60 years ago."