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Vernon Carver Rudolph
was the founder of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc.
Vernon was the oldest of two boys born to Plumie and Rethie Rudolph. As he grew older, he began to help in the general store that his father owned. When he graduated high school, he went to Paducah, Kentucky with his uncle. In 1933, Rudolph's uncle bought a doughnut shop and recipe for yeast-raised donuts from a French federal employee named, Joe La-beau. This all occurred during the middle of the great depression, so they moved to Nashville, Tennessee to see if they could get better business there and secure their financial future.
Things did not work out for them in Nashville, so they moved back to Kentucky where Rudolph's uncle sold his business. Early in the summer of 1937, Rudolph moved to Winston-Salem
Winston-Salem is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina, with a 2010 population of 229,617. Winston-Salem is the county seat and largest city of Forsyth County and the fourth-largest city in the state. Winston-Salem is the second largest municipality in the Piedmont Triad region and is home to...
, North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...
, rented a building across from Salem College and Academy, and on July 13 1937, using that original recipe. Rudolph's first customers were local grocery stores, but people began to stop by the store asking if they could buy hot doughnuts.