doughnuts and coffee since 1937

1930s –

Krispy Kreme’s story began in the late 1930s, when Vernon Rudolph, the man responsible for these heavenly delights, bought a secret recipe for yeast raised doughnuts off a French chef in New Orleans.

He then rented a building in Old Salem in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and sold Krispy Kreme doughnuts to grocery stores originally as a wholesaler. However, the delicious scent of cooking doughnuts drifted into the street and was too difficult to ignore, causing passers-by to stop and ask if they could buy hot fresh doughnuts.

Vernon saw this as an opportunity to create a retail business and cut a hole in the wall of the building to start selling directly to customers.

1940 – 50s

As Krispy Kreme gained popularity, the number of stores grew. Customers would keep coming back as they knew that they could always enjoy the delicious taste, regardless of which store they bought the doughnuts from.

To ensure consistency, Vernon developed the Krispy Kreme automatic doughnut cutter machine to ensure delivery of the perfect mix every time. This was the first prototype of what you see in factory stores today. It is this incredible machine that gives our doughnuts their perfect shape day in and day out.

1970 – 90s

The classic Krispy Kreme store with its hallmark green tile roof and heritage road signs first appeared in the 1960s. Sadly in 1976 Vernon passed away, however, his beloved Krispy Kreme still lives on today.

Krispy Kreme can even be found in the Smithsonian’s Institute’s National Museum of American History and is testament to Vernon’s vision for the brand , with Krispy Kreme being considered an American Icon.


Krispy Kreme doughnuts are made fresh daily, delivering delicious taste and many joyful experiences across the world. The good news is that this iconic brand has made its way to the African continent, with its first store having opened in Rosebank, Johannesburg. With more stores set to open in the next 5 years we look forward to sharing the joy across South Africa.