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Winston-Salem, N.C. -- Banking. Tobacco. Textile manufacturing. Krispy Kreme doughnuts. We always thought all of those things would be part of North Carolina forever.
Then, the recession hit. So far, only one of those four have made a comeback: Krispy Kreme. This week the Winston-Salem based company is celebrating its 75th anniversary.
Every Krispy Kreme doughnut anyone anywhere in the world sinks their teeth into came from Winston-Salem. All the mixes and the equipment are made in the Triad. The company makes 12,000 per hour.
"They've got great donuts," Jacob Gilbert said.
JoJo Horton added, "They're always fresh."
And, Jasiah Ferguson says the doughnuts are a family tradition. "We get Krispy Kreme doughnuts - a big old box -- about two or three times a month."
Of all the places this worldwide company could move to, executives have chosen to stay in Winston-Salem.
"We have the ability here to be who we are and not think that we have to be some huge company. That really is not the goal for us. I think that happens a lot with different companies... ok, if we're going to get as big as we want to be, then we need to move to a major city. When being big is not your goal, then that's not necessarily that important to you," Chief Marketing Officer Dwayne Chambers said.
The recipe has never changed and sits locked inside a Winston-Salem vault. Only one person has access.
"We hear people say a lot, 'I can always count on Krispy Kreme...It's going to be that same glazed donut...no matter whether I'm in Birmingham, Alabama or Bangkok," Chambers said.
No one pretends doughnuts are healthy, but they are a tasty treat. The average customer stops by once a month.
"We do a lot for their emotional health, people come to Krispy Kreme as a reward. It's a reward because I've had a good week or it may even be because I've had a really rough week and I want to reward myself. If you think about doing that once a month, it's probably something that could fit within anybody's diet," Chambers said.
The company plans to expand to Russia and India next year, but it's sugary roots will always stay planted in North Carolina.
The famous "Hot Now" neon sign started appearing in the 1990's. This weekend, the company will host a series of events in Winston-Salem to commemorate the 75th anniversary.
WFMY News 2