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Rolling in the Dough

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I’m a Krispy Kreme fanatic. I waited with glee for the day a store opened in the Milwaukee area. The wait was worth it. Until 12.11.01 I only knew the myth of Krispy Kreme, but with one bite I was hooked for life. Also on that day, I felt the customer love (obsession) with the company. While waiting in line for my doughnuts a couple behind me said they drove 90 minutes. There is something special about a company where people will come from over 100 miles away just for your product. In Making Dough there are a few stories of people coming from far away and waiting hours, even days, just to be the first to open a new store. That’s tremendous devotion.

At the center of it all is not a hole but a wonderful product. The Krispy Kreme doughnut is sweet, gooey, sticky, and, if hot, melts in your mouth. The company knows it has the greatest doughnuts in the world and focuses all their efforts to get you to try one. Once you bite, they have you hooked. Stores have glass walls turning them into doughnut-making theaters. Wholesale operations provide branding and cheap advertising. Their famous Hot Light lets the public know when they can get their hot, golden, glazed goodie.

Making Dough tells the story of how Vernon Rudolph turned his last $25 into a regional icon. Then Krispy Kreme lost its identity when Beatrice took over after Rudolph’s death. Store franchisees saved the company with a buyout that eventually led to the company going public in 2000 and expanding across the country and overseas.

At times the book reads like a long magazine article. It’s fluffy (pun intended) in places and glazes (again intended) over some company foibles. But it’s still a fascinating book examining an American success story.

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About Sean Hackbarth

  • Use caution with those doughnuts. We get Krispy Kremes delivered to our office cafeteria and belive you me, you can tell by looking around… They say the average new hire gains 15 pounds pronto when signing on.

    But yes, they are delicious. I Actually had two this morning!

  • For the first 9-12 months I was buying a dozen a week. I wasn’t eating them all, thank God. I’ve now cut back to a dozen every 3-4 weeks, and they have to be hot, right out of the fryer.

  • mmmm… hot krispy kremes…

    When KKs first hit the Baltimore area, I was so stoked. At the paper, we found coupons for free dozens of donuts among the pile of media swag we would get from publicists. If you work in media, you know: Most swag sucks. KK swag made up for all the crap. For the next few weeks, we all went nuts eating those fluffy, sticky heavenly clouds of sweet goodness. And we all started gaining weight, so that office ritual — sob — had to stop. It hurt, but there was no other choice.

    God, I *love* Krispy Kremes… but I must – must – must avoid them at all costs.

    Dammit, just gained a pound from just thinking about the things.