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A Brief History About Krispy Kreme

Dec 24, 2007
Krispy Kreme doughnuts have been a long time tradition in the American conscience, and over the years has expanded world wide delivering the famous fluffy doughnuts to an ever expanding consumer.

The moral of this story is: ask now, or forever be puzzled.

Once upon a time (1933, to be precise), a man by the name of Ishmael Armstrong bought a doughnut shop from a New Orleans chef named Joe Lebeau. More important than the shop itself, however, was the secret recipe for raised doughnuts that came with it. By all accounts it was a miraculous recipe that produced doughnuts of unparalleled lightness and flavor, doughnuts so extraordinary that the name he had dreamed up for his confections, Krispy Kreme, had become a local legend.

Ishmael Armstrong passed the recipe down to his nephew Plumie Rudolph, whose son Vernon opened a wholesale doughnut business in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 1937, and delivered the doughnuts on his bicycle. Krispy Kreme at first sold its doughnuts only to grocery stores, but so many people stopped by the factory asking to buy fresh doughnuts that Vernon Rudolph finally cut a take-out window in the building's wall and began selling directly to customers.

By the time of Rudolph's death in 1973, Krispy Kreme was a booming franchise operation with thousands of dedicated customers, but the company's acquisition shortly thereafter by Beatrice Foods is now considered the low point of Krispy Kreme history. To cut costs, Beatrice changed the famous secret recipe, alienating customers and infuriating franchise operators. Not surprisingly, when Beatrice decided to sell the company in 1981, Krispy Kreme franchise owners banded together to buy back their beloved company and immediately restored the original recipe to its place of honor.

With more than three hundred stores in the United States and Canada, Krispy Kreme is now an American icon, and only one nagging question remains: what's with the name Krispy Kreme? The company's signature raised doughnuts aren't exactly crispy, and contain no creme filling. It's a question that, unfortunately, is destined to forever remain a mystery. It seems that when Ishmael Armstrong bought Joe Lebeau's doughnut shop and recipe back in 1933, he simply forgot to ask about the origin of the name. And since Mr. Lebeau has long since shuffled off to that great doughnut shop in the sky, the best we can do is ponder the possibilities while we munch our doughnuts.

Although the Krispy Kreme name remains a mystery, the Krispy Kreme texture and taste does not, and continues to satisfy the sugary appetite of millions.
About the Author
Angela Abbette writes on a variety of subjects, including food and drink articles similar to the ones found at her favorite best article directory.
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