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82 years of Krispy Kreme history in N.C.

Black and white photo of the exterior of a Krispy Kreme store in Raleigh, NC

When the iconic “hot and fresh” light comes on, the donuts are ready.

Photo by @benjeejophoto

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DYK there are not one but two national days celebrating the doughnut? We celebrated one earlier this week (Nov. 5) by doing the only reasonable thing: finishing off a half-dozen box of our favorite glazed Krispy Kreme.

After all, N.C. is the brand’s home. It all started in 1933, when then-18-year-old Vernon Rudolph purchased a secret recipe for yeast-raised doughnuts from a New Orleans-based French chef. Vernon later moved from Paducah, Kentucky to Winston-Salem (~2 hours from downtown Raleigh) and opened his first Krispy Kreme shop in 1937. At first, Vernon only sold his baked goods to local grocery stores, but when the sweet smell wafting through town began to attract people to his door, he cut a hole in the building — literally — and began selling directly to customers. And so the era of hot and fresh doughnuts was born.

During the ‘40s and ‘50s, the company gained popularity across the Carolinas + throughout the southeast. In the ‘60s, Vernon standardized the look of Krispy Kreme locations with the signature green roof and heritage-style road sign and began opening locations nationwide (today, there are more than 500 stores).

Krispy Kreme donuts box

Krispy Kreme | via Facebook

Raleigh’s iconic — and only — Krispy Kreme store is located at 551 N. Person Street and has been serving the community since 1970, three years before Vernon passed away. The current franchisees signed a new 20-year lease for the space in 2018, so rest assured we’ll be able to get our fix through 2038.

In 2004, 10 N.C. State students began the Krispy Kreme challenge (originally as a dare) and it has turned into a nationally-recognized charity race benefitting UNC Children’s hospital. Runners begin the race at the N.C. State memorial bell tower and run 2.5 miles through downtown to the Person Street Krispy Kreme location. After consuming — if you can — one dozen glazed doughnuts (that’s 2400 calories, y’all), participants then race back to the bell tower, for a total of 5 miles.

The 2020 race is scheduled for February 1, and registration is now open for runners + volunteers. Click here for more info, plus reply to this email to let us know your best race time for past challenges.

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