Tags: lewis rudolph | krispy kreme | founder | dies

Lewis Rudolph, a Krispy Kreme Founder, Dies at 95

By    |   Wednesday, 31 Dec 2014 11:14 AM

Lewis Rudolph, a founder of Krispy Kreme donuts who built the company into a national brand with his brother Vernon, died Sunday at 95.

Rudolph quit high school in the 1930s to work in the family donut business in Nashville with his father Plummie Rudolph and brother Vernon Rudolph, according to The Tennessean. Following a recipe from a New Orleans chef, the donuts became popular enough for them to open up new stores in Atlanta, Charleston, West Virginia and Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Lewis Rudolph would become vice president of Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corp. while Vernon Rudolph served as president and chairman of the board.

A turning point for Krispy Kreme came in 1983, 10 years after Vernon Rudolph died and the donut company merged with Beatrice Foods Co. of Chicago, noted The Tennessean. Rudolph and Krispy Kreme franchisees bought out Beatrice when sales started to slump.

Krispy Kreme would go on to become publicly traded in 2000 and now operates 975 stores in 20 countries.

"Krispy Kreme wishes to extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to the Rudolph family on the passing of Mr. William Lewis Rudolph," Krispy Kreme said in a statement posted on its website. "While many of us may have never had the pleasure of meeting William, he has been extoled and will be celebrated as 'a very caring and family-oriented man' and a significant part of our corporate history."

Rudolph's death comes after Krispy Kreme announced the departure of James H. Morgan from his post of executive chairman of the board of directors, effective Jan. 29. He had led the company since 2008 as president and chief executive officer, according to the company.

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Lewis Rudolph, a founder of Krispy Kreme donuts who built the company into a national brand with his brother Vernon, died Sunday at 95.
lewis rudolph, krispy kreme, founder, dies
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2014-14-31
Wednesday, 31 Dec 2014 11:14 AM
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