Alabama: Huntsville: Memorial Highway
Scope and Contents
Series 1: History of Krisy Kreme, includes records and materials which document the history of Krispy Kreme Doughnut Company and Corporation. Included are stories about the company and its founder, Vernon Rudolph ("A Man and an Enterprise" is in booklet form while "Brief Outline of the History of Krispy Kreme" is 115 pages) and also a story about the employees and facilities of the Corporation; a report that includes the organization's history and brief biographies of the management team; and overall operating reports from 1948 and 1950. There is also information pertaining to Krispy Kreme's association with Beatrice Foods Company as well as a biography of William Lewis Rudolph, brother of Vernon. This series also contains a draft (from 1952) of a report to the Government Purchasing Agencies about Krispy Kreme's mix plant operations, comprising a detailed list of equipment, cost controls, and a chronology of Krispy Kreme store openings. These are located in a folder marked "Historical Data." There is also a folder entitled "Vernon Rudolph" which contains a photocopy of two photographs -- one is of the front of a house while the other is of a family -- and a funeral tribute, dated 1973, to Vernon Rudolph.
Series 2: Administrative Records, contains those records which deal with the overall operation of the Krispy Kreme Doughnut Company and Corporation. This series is arranged into the following subseries:
Subseries 2.1: Correspondence, contains copies of letters to and from Vernon Rudolph and vendors, banks, Krispy Kreme stores and office personnel, local organizations, government agencies. The dates range from the 1930s through 1972. There is one original letter and its accompanying envelope from 1939. Subseries 2.2: Executive Records, contains the articles of incorporation, bylaws, minutes, and resolutions of the Board of Directors. The dates range from 1946-1977. This subseries also includes an organizational chart from the mid-1970s as well as an article of incorporation for Frozen Products, Inc., a subsidiary of the Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation. There is also an Incorporation Plan from 1946 that includes a plan of organization, bills of sale, and a balance sheet. The folder marked "Miscellaneous," contains minutes from the first meeting of the incorporators in 1946 and a short note from 1952 concerning floor space at the Ivy Street plant. Subseries 2.3: Financial Records, ca. 1940-1996, includes annual and audit reports, gross sales statements for the company and the corporation as well as for doughnut mix. This subseries also contains balance sheets, a general accounting ledger, and operating reports. In the folder "Canceled Checks," there are signed checks by Vernon Rudolph as well as a handwritten listing of expenses that is titled "Personal Bank Records." There is also a prospectus dated from 1975 which is one year before the merger with Beatrice. Subseries 2.4: Legal Records, 1947-1982, deals mostly with trademark issues. It contains the correspondence and registration applications pertaining to trademark laws. Also included are the actual trademark registrations from all 50 states (since expired) as well as a list of expiration dates for the registrations. This subseries also contains correspondence between Krispy Kreme and Prudential Insurance Company concerning loans. There is also a folder "Miscellaneous Agreements and Contracts" that contains a lease agreement from 1957 and an accident claims agreement from 1955. Subseries 2.5: Personnel Records, dates range from the 1950s-1985. It includes information concerning employee benefits and manuals on selling doughnuts and running doughnut machines. Female employees are provided with guidelines in both a booklet, ca. 1963, titled "Salesgirl," and a plaque from the early 1960s that instructs them on appearance, retail manner, and attitude. Also contained in this subseries are award certificates given for years of service and a photograph of service award pins, jewelry, watches, and a clock. Other certificates were those for Associates and store operators certifying that they are fully capable and properly trained to operate a Krispy Kreme store. In the "Miscellaneous" folder, there are memorandums to employees, want-ad clippings, and a thank you card from the Corporation to its employees for 50 years of success. Subseries 2.6: Professional Associations, contains a certificate of membership into the US Chamber of Commerce, 1955. Subseries 2.7: Stock Records, deals with the purchase and sale of stocks from 1947-1975. There are copies of two agreements -- one regarding Krispy Kreme selling an employee stocks and the other concerning Krispy Kreme buying stocks in the Pinebrook Real Estate and Development Corporation. The folder "Stockholders," contains a 1950 end of year letter to stockholders and a brief report on a court case entitled "How Not to Sell Company Stock to Key Employees" from a 1949 newsletter, "Estate and Tax Letter." There is a stockholders ledger dated 1947-1975 which also has a list of stockholders attached to one page. Subseries 2.8: Testimonial Letters, are from customers and date from 1994-1997. In some cases, Krispy Kreme responses were attached with the original, in others they were not. All the letters are copies of the originals and are on acid-free paper. Subseries 2.9: Miscellaneous, contains drawings and pictures of the Corporation headquarters in Winston-Salem, NC, and of exterior store signage. It also includes logo designs from the 1960s through 1989, samples of stationery, a brochure for and a photograph of the Krispy Kreme plane, and a program for the 1994 Krispy Kreme Annual Conference. There is also a folder containing Holiday greeting cards from Krispy Kreme management and a program from their 1990 Christmas party. Series 3: Operational Records, contains those records which pertain to all aspects of the production and sale of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. This series has the following subseries:
Subseries 3.1: Advertising and Promotions, ca. 1947-1993, contains small and full page newspaper advertisements from 1947 through 1993 (including some undated advertisements), the mats and layouts that the retail stores used in their own in-store advertising, and information and correspondence concerning billboard advertising. This subseries also includes television commercial storyboards and an audience pre-test report for three of them. There is also materials on the different promotions Krispy Kreme used. The "Miscellaneous" folder contains a variety of indoor and outdoor advertisements. Subseries 3.2: Equipment and Engineering, is itself broken down into three categories: American Gas Association (AGA), Equipment Design, and Equipment Information. The "American Gas Association" section contains correspondence between the AGA and Krispy Kreme regarding AGA inspection of and seal of approval for Krispy Kreme-made equipment. "Equipment Design" contains the notes, sketches, test results, and photographs of various pieces of equipment designed and made by Krispy Kreme. "Equipment" information includes equipment brochures and booklets and more detailed information on the use of the equipment. Subseries 3.3: Franchises/Associates, ca. 1940s-1990s, contains literature to attract potential new franchisees as well as samples of franchise agreements. This subseries also includes photographs and press releases concerning store openings. These are located in three folders: "Grand Opening Summary," "Knoxville Grand Opening," and "Krispy Kreme Locations." There is also a videocassette that highlights Krispy Kreme's foray into New York City in 1996. Subseries 3.4: Fundraising, includes a variety of materials that concern Krispy Kreme's program of assisting local organizations in their fundraising efforts. The dates range from the 1940s-1990s. It contains brochures, ca. 1940s-1990s, which explain the fundraising plan and its benefits. There are also guides geared towards Krispy Kreme salespersons to help them present the plan to potential clients. In the "Miscellaneous" folder, there is a newspaper advertisement from September 1988 promoting the fundraising plan. There is also a photo collage done by Krispy Kreme Fundraising Representative, Sharon Craig, to commemorate a local parade in Memphis, TN (at the Elvis Presley Boulevard plant). Subseries 3.5: Marketing, contains a 1996 marketing standards manual and press kits from 1997. The marketing manual was directed to store operators to assist them in promoting and selling their products. The press kits were given to the Smithsonian when discussions concerning Krispy Kreme's donation to the museum began in the spring of 1997. Subseries 3.6: Packaging, ca. 1930s-1992, contains examples of the different packaging used by Krispy Kreme to market their food products and mixes. Also included are designs for new packaging. One example is for doughnuts done by Comet Products Inc. (of MA) in 1979. Four samples of pie packaging designs were created by Pike & Cassels, Inc. (of NC) in late 1991 and early 1992. In the "Miscellaneous" folder there are examples of other Krispy Kreme packaging. Subseries 3.7: Quality Control Laboratory, ca. 1959-1976, consists of two items. The first one, which was originally housed in a binder, is a notebook of information on lab procedures and on the chemical consistency and test concerning doughnut ingredients. This belonged to David Downs, Chief Chemist at Krispy Kreme. The second item is a "pictorial" prospectus of the entire Krispy Kreme operation -- departments, individual stores, products and packaging -- which belonged to the Laboratory. Subseries 3.8: Sales Records, ca. 1950s-1980s, contains materials that would assist both franchise managers and operators (with in-store sales) and route salespeople (in selling wholesale Krispy Kreme products to groceries, etc). It includes a Route Book, ca. late 1950s, that contained order information and belonged to Robah G. Hendrick, a Krispy Kreme salesman. There is also a sales order pad, ca. 1950s-early 1960s, used by a Krispy Kreme store in Memphis, TN. There are also two in-house catalogs -- in folders "Posters, inserts, cards..." and "Shelf talkers catalog" -- that contain items that can be ordered by managers and that are used to sell store products. Shelf talkers are signs posted near the merchandise or on grocery display shelves. They, like the posters, inserts, cards, are used to attract customers with specials and promotions. Samples of shelf talkers are included in this subseries. There is also a "Miscellaneous" folder which contains a Krispy Kreme coupon, a book of gift certificates, another example of a shelf talker sign, and brochures of different store displays. Subseries 3.9: Store Operations, ca. 1960s-1970s, deals primarily with items that are meant for store operators and mangers to help them in running a Krispy Kreme store. Two manuals -- Production and Extruded Doughnut manuals -- instruct managers in producing high quality products. Two other manuals -- Associates Operations and Branch Plant Managers' Manual -- discuss doughnut production, but also give directives and policies on other store issues, such as safety, sanitation, and personnel. The Branch Plant Managers' Manual also delves into the natural gas crisis in January 1977 and deals with advertising, security, and photo requests. This subseries also includes five 8"x6" laminated cards that contain doughnut recipe information and checklists of cleanup and sanitation procedures. There is also a plaque entitled "What is a Customer?" which explains to employees why a Krispy Kreme customer is so important. In the "Miscellaneous" folder there are two guides that advise on how to promote and sell items and a store/production area sign containing the store mission statement. [Also see Series 2: Administrative Records, Subseries E: Personnel, for a guide entitled "Salesgirl" which instructs the female Krispy Kreme employee on matters pertaining to dress and attitude.] Series 4: Newsletters, 1957-1998, includes, Krispy Kreme News, Krispy Kreme Management Circle, and Hot Doughnut News.
Krispy Kreme News, 1957-1998, is geared towards all members of the Krispy Kreme community -- management, operators and managers, and employees. Its articles discuss new store openings, Corporation news, community (or news-related) events, and provides instructions and reminders concerning store upkeep and sanitation. There are sections announcing upcoming retirements, congratulating outstanding employees, and honoring long service to Krispy Kreme. Also included are articles that do not necessarily pertain to Krispy Kreme, but, rather, add a human element to the newsletters, such as humorous stories, articles on birds, and tips on highway safety. Some articles of interest are a history of chocolate (September 1963), "You Can Improve Your Memory" (May 1967), "A Communist is a Rich Marxist" (July 1967), and a discussion on skirt lengths and their relation to economics (February 1970). [In addition, there are two early issues of Krispy Kreme News (May 9 and May 15, 1951) in a folder entitled "Brief Outline of the History of Krispy Kreme, 1977" which is located in Series 1: History of Krispy Kreme.] Also included in this subseries and relating to Krispy Kreme News are a subject index, a questionnaire form, and signed release letters. Krispy Kreme Management Circle, 1995-1997, is a quarterly newsletter geared towards Krispy Kreme management and leadership. The articles focus on product quality, marketing and promotions, and training. At the end of each issue, there is a ranking of stores in different sales categories, i.e., average customer purchases (in dollars), highest percentages of customers buying beverages with their food or buying a second dozen doughnuts. Hot Doughnut News, 1997, caters primarily to Krispy Kreme store operators, providing reports on stores and ideas for marketing. Series 5: Press Clippings, 1949-1998, contains articles and stories that cover the Corporation, its history, its founder and subsequent leaders, and its community programs and promotions. The bulk of the clippings are from newspapers with a scattering of magazine articles. The largest number clippings come from the Winston-Salem Journalof Winston-Salem, NC, where Krispy Kreme is based. All articles have been copied onto acid-free paper.
Some clippings have been separated from the rest. One folder, "Davey Allison," contains clippings concerning the sudden death of this popular NASCAR driver and Krispy Kreme spokesman, in 1993. The folder titled "Ralph Simpson and Associates, July-Sept 1995" contains articles and news briefs on Krispy Kreme and its competitors collected by a Winston-Salem public relations firm. Two other folders with clippings from the Simpson PR firm concern Krispy Kreme's donation into the Smithsonian in July 1997. The contents of these two folders are not on acid-free paper. "School Computers" documents the efforts of the Krispy Kreme Corporation to help distribute computers to schools across North Carolina. The "TV Monitoring Report, July 1997" folder does not contain any clippings, but includes a listing of news stories that appeared on television about the Krispy Kreme donation to the Smithsonian. Series 6: Photographs, ca. late 1930s through the mid 1990s, consists of black-and-white and color photographs and some negatives and transparencies. This series is divided into the following subseries:
Subseries 6.1: Corporate Staff, Associates, and Store Managers, ca. 1940s-early 1990s, is broken down into the following two categories: "Corporate Staff" and "Associates and Store Managers." Corporate Staff contains photographs of the officers of the corporation as well as members of the staff at the headquarters in Winston-Salem. Most are portrait shots with some group photos, e.g., the Board of Directors. There are also photographs of a 1974 retirement party for Mike Harding (Chairman of the Board and CEO) and Louise Joyner (editor of the Krispy Kreme News) and of a wedding cake made in 1990 for the wedding of headquarters accountant Cathy Rogers. The cake and the wedding were featured in the winter 1991 issue of Krispy Kreme News. [Also of interest are two photocopies of photographs -- of a house and a family -- located in Series 1: History of Krispy Kreme, Folder: "Vernon Rudolph."] The Associates and Store Managers photographs consist mostly of group portraits taken at their respective annual meetings: Associate Operators' Meeting and Store Managers' Conference. Also included are scenes of store manager training, which was mandatory for all new Krispy Kreme managers. Subseries 6.2: Corporate Headquarters, date from the late 1940s through the late 1980s. This subseries contains photographs of the General Offices, Equipment Department, Laboratory, Mix Department, and Warehouse. [Other photographs pertaining to these areas can be found in Series 6: Photographs, Subseries H: "Tour Given to Smithsonian Staff."] The General Offices photographs include exterior and interior views of the headquarters on Ivy Avenue. The Equipment Department photographs show various pieces of doughnut equipment as well as the designing, manufacturing, and assembling of said equipment by Krispy Kreme. [For more technical information on the different equipment, please refer to Series 3: Operational Records, Subseries B: "Equipment and Engineering."] The Quality Control Laboratory photographs consist of views that show the interior of the laboratory and of the chemists at work. There are also some images of test results of the doughnut mixes for quality and consistency. In addition, there are pictures of lab results of tests on glaze made with and without stabilizers. The Mix Department photographs contain views of the different stages of department operations. They also show the equipment used to prepare the dry doughnut mixes, which later are sent to the Krispy Kreme stores. The Warehouse photographs show bags of Krispy Kreme prepared mixes stacked in a large warehouse at the headquarters and waiting to be shipped. Subseries 6.3: Retail Shops and Plants, ca. 1937-1994, contains photographs of specific Krispy Kreme stores. They show the exterior and interior views of the shops including storefront, signage, retail, and production areas, as well as employees and customers. The bulk of the photos range from the 1950s through the 1970s. They are arranged by state, by city within the state, and then by street name within the city. Subseries 6.4: General Photographs, ca. 1940s-mid 1990s, concern unspecified Krispy Kreme shops and plants. They include views of store exteriors (storefront and signage) and interiors (production and retail areas and signage). The production area photographs show the various stages of the production of doughnuts, pies, and honeybuns. There are also photographs of customers, employees, and of students participating in the Krispy Kreme fundraising plan. The employee photographs consist of general in-store action and posed shots as well as views of employees receiving service awards for years of service. The fundraising photographs show students picking up boxes of doughnuts from Krispy Kreme shops or selling those boxes in an effort to raise money. This subseries also contains photographs of the trucks used by the Krispy Kreme stores throughout the years to deliver their products to groceries and other food stores. [A a set of press clippings that detail the use of Kripsy Kreme trucks in delivering school computers to North Carolina schools. These can be found in SERIES 5: Press Clippings, in the folder titled "School Computers, May-June 1993."] Subseries 6.5: Trade Shows, range in date from the 1950s through 1970s. This subseries includes photographs of Krispy Kreme displays at trade shows in the United States (Atlanta and St. Louis) and in Greece, Indonesia, Japan, and Pakistan. Subseries 6.6: Products and Packaging, ca. late 1940s-early 1990s, shows samples of various grocery store displays as well as photographs of doughnuts, fried pies, and honeybuns -- with and without packaging. There is also a folder that contains shots of Krispy Kreme coffee cups. Subseries 6.7: Advertising and Promotions, dates from 1965-1990s. The bulk of the photographs centers around shots of Davey Allison's race car. Allison was a Krispy Kreme spokesman for their Race to Daytona Sweepstakes in 1991. The other photographs consist of views of various advertising posters used in shops and grocery stores. There are also photographs that show Krispy Kreme advertising displays in airports. Subseries 6.8: Photo Albums, consist of six albums, all falling within the date range of the 1950s through the mid 1980s. The first album, "Exterior and Interior shots of Unspecified Retail Shops," contains photographs that date from the late 1970s-mid 1980s; these consist of exterior and interior views of various stores. The second album, entitled "Krispy Kreme Album," dates from 1962. A Christmas gift to Vernon Rudolph from the Corporate staff and associates, it contains photographs of the individual staff members and associates as well as group shots of the associates at annual meetings. There are also photographs of various shop storefronts. This album also includes exterior and interior views of the corporate headquarters. "Krispy Kreme Doughnut Co.," ca. 1950s-1960s, is the third album. It served as a pictorial marketing tool used to attract new associates and franchisees. It shows exterior views of the corporate headquarters, various storefronts, and views of a typical Krispy Kreme trade show display. There are also photographs showing retail doughnut production as well as images of packaging and final products. In addition, there is a price list of equipment and mixes. The "Plant and Production" album dates from the 1960s. It consists of photographs showing the different stages of doughnut production and the preceding steps involving the equipment and mix departments and laboratory. There are also exterior views of various retail shops and of the headquarters in Winston-Salem. The "Production Equipment Album," ca. 1960s-early 1970s, is similar to the "Krispy Kreme Doughnut Co." album with regards to the subject of the photographs. Additionally, there are photographs of the officers of the Corporation as well as images of advertising posters used in grocery stores. The sixth album, entitled "Social Gatherings Album," dates from 1951-1971. It contains photographs of female corporate staff members at various social gatherings, such as bridal and baby showers, picnics, birthdays, and Christmas parties. Subseries 6.9: Tour Given to Smithsonian Staff, contains photographs that were taken on May 28, 1997. The photos, taken by Smithsonian photographer Rich Strauss, depict a tour of the Corporation headquarters in Winston-Salem, NC. One highlight of interest is a view of the safe where the secret Krispy Kreme recipe is kept (located in the "Quality Control Laboratory" section of this subseries). The photographs are arranged according to the order of the tour. Series 7: AUDIOvisual Materials, remains unprocessed as of the date of this finding aid. This series consists of training films, videotapes, TV and radio commercials, and slide presentations. A rough inventory of these materials is provided in the container list.
- Creation: 1932 - 2009
Language of Materials
Collection is in English. Some materials in Korean.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
From the Collection: 16.5 Cubic Feet (40 boxes, 2 oversized folders)