Krispy Kreme began making and selling original glazed donuts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 1937. Founder Vernon Rudolph purchased the recipe from a New Orleans French pastry chef and sold the yeast-raised donuts to local grocers.
The first Krispy Kreme was based in a rented building. Rudolph unwittingly attracted his first customers when the scent of donuts drew a crowd to the building, inspiring him to sell products from a walk-up window. By 1944, Rudolph expanded the space into a walk-in bakery outfitted with display cases. During the late 1940s, the company developed more flavors, such as jelly-filled and powdered. Partnering with schools, churches and other organizations for fundraising initiatives helped transform Krispy Kreme into a nationwide staple in the 1950s.