Business
1:57 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Krispy Kreme Celebrates 75 Years of Doughnut Making

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 This month, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts is celebrating its 75th birthday. The Winston-Salem based company is planning several events to commemorate their little bundles of fried joy.

"The hot light being on just kind of attracts you to Krispy Kreme," said Jimmy Menis of Hiddenite, North Carolina.

Menis still remembers his aunts bringing home Krispy Kreme Doughnuts when he was 5 years old. Four decades later, he's still a loyal fan, stopping for fresh doughnuts about twice a month.

"My favorite is the original glazed. I don't care about the other flavors, just the original glazed," said Menis.

A sweet aroma fills the air inside the Krispy Kreme doughnut factory on Stratford Road in Winston-Salem. It's a popular spot for city resident Nicole Allred.

"I love the smell, we come here with our friends and bring Krispy Kreme to work. We share with everybody and it just puts a smile on everyone's face," said Allred.

About 3,200 doughnuts are made per hour at the Stratford Road store. Larger stores can produce up to 12,000 doughnuts per hour. The process starts with the company's special proprietary mix, which is made daily at a production facility on Ivy Avenue near East Winston.

"Every single doughnut comes along with care and precision and there is really an art behind it," said Brody Bowen, general manager at the Stratford Road Doughnut Factory.

"That humming that you hear in the background is our large mixer where the dough goes in and starts the mixing process. It's mixed for 14 minutes and then comes out as a finished dough before we begin cutting it,"said Bowen.

After the dough is cut, and shaped, it's ready for cooking.

"They are then deposited into our fryer. They are set on one side. The original glazed fries for 110 seconds and halfway through the fryer the flipper flips the doughnuts and each side comes out gold and delicious," said Bowen.

The doughnuts are then cooled, before they move through a waterfall of sugar glaze.

"I've got glaze in my veins because I'm the Krispy Kreme doughnut maker," said James Long, a production specialist at Krispy Kreme. Long has been making doughnuts at Krispy Kreme for 33 years.

"We have to check the glaze now every 15 minutes to make sure we get the quality doughnut. You don't want a thickness on the doughnut, but a shine on the doughnut," said Long

The story of Krispy Kreme began in 1937. That's when founder Vernon Rudolph bought a secret yeast doughnut recipe from a New Orleans French chef. He rented a building in what is now historic Old Salem in Winston-Salem. And on July 13, he began selling the doughnuts to local grocery stores.

Bowen says some doughnuts get a little more hands-on treatment.

"Every single doughnut is picked up, one in each hand, and each doughnut is then inserted and has its own filling injected in it. It takes a little bit of experience and a lot of love to make the product look great and taste the way we want it to," said Bowen.

Whether they're glazed or cream-filled, they're a favorite treat of people of all ages.

"I love doughnuts! Yeah, I like the glazed" said 3 year-old Charlotte Epley of Advance, NC.

"The first time that I came in here, I didn't know that is what they did and stood there for probably 10 minutes before my mom had to pull me away because this is so cool. You don't normally get a chance to see how your food is made because it's hidden behind walls" said Caitlin Dorantich from Newport, NC.

Krispy Kreme makes more than 40 varieties of doughnuts.

To commemorate Krispy Kreme's 75 year milestone, this month the company will introduce three different birthday doughnuts.

Also, several events are being planned across the country. Dwayne Chambers is Chief Marketing Officer for Krispy Kreme.

"The Glaze the Nation tour is an opportunity for us to take our 1960 Flexible Starliner bus around the country. Part of this brand is about people's feelings and emotions around the brand and we are estimating we will make around 500 stops in about 200 days throughout this year," said Chambers.

Fans of the doughnuts can also sign an on-line birthday card, share their stories and upload pictures on the company's web site.

This weekend, the company is planning a big birthday party in downtown Winston-Salem and a family festival in Old Salem, where a plaque will be placed to commemorate the first Krispy Kreme store.

The downtown street party on Trade Street will take place Friday, July 13 from 7:00-10:00 p.m. The Family FanFest at Old Salem will take place Saturday, July 14 from 9a.m.-Noon. More information is at www.CelebrateKrispyKreme.com