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Krispy Kreme in the Limelight

On July 13, 1937, Krispy Kreme was born.  To start, founder Vernon Rudolph bought a “secret yeast-raised doughnut recipe” from a Louisiana chef and began making doughnuts for local grocery stores to purchase.  He rented a building in what is now referred to as “Old Salem” here in Winston.  As people walked through Old Salem, they could smell Rudolph making these delicious treats and that’s how the hot “Original Glazed” doughnut emerged.  To appease  passersby, Rudolph cut a hole through an outside wall of his building and started selling his doughnuts directly to the people walking on the sidewalk.

Over the next 20 years, Krispy Kreme moved from making doughnuts locally at each franchised store to a more complex distribution system that has made Krispy Kreme “officially recognized as a 20th century American icon with the donation of company artifacts to the Smithsonian Institution’s  National Museum of American History.” For a full history, Krispy Kreme provides interesting facts and awards on their website.

Information about the corporation is available in various places.  For example, the Archives Center of the National Museum of American History provides access to search the Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation Records from 1937 until 1997.  But, if you want to search for more current business records, you can access them for free using the North Carolina Department of Secretary of State website.  The Secretary of State website allows you to search for annual reports and other UCC documents for North Carolina corporations online. Specifically, you can search for corporation information by Corporation name or by Registered Agent.  Also, you can search for Dissolutions/Withdrawals and Name Reservations on the Secretary of State website as well. If you are worried about the currentness of the system, it is kept up to date in “real time,” meaning that the information on the filings is available on the website as soon as they are uploaded by the business.  There is no delay.

So how about a refresher on administrative law?  The Secretary of State is an agency of North Carolina (executive branch), and has only the power given to them from the North Carolina General Assembly (the legislative body).  The General Assembly enacts legislation that authorizes the Secretary of State to enforce the laws of North Carolina. Specifically, N.C. Gen. Stat. 143 A-11(Principal departments), 147- A(State Officers – Classification and General Provisions), and 147-34-54.10 (Article 4 – Secretary of State) provide the primary statutory authority for the Secretary of State.

And now back to doughnuts.  Not only has Krispy Kreme expanded out beyond the borders of North Carolina to numerous, if not all of, the United States, but it has gone global.  Specifically there are Krispy Kreme doughnut stores in Canada, Asia, Mexico, the Middle East, Puerto Rico, and Turkey.  If you need to do business related research for Krispy Kreme in any of the United States, always start with that specific company’s website and I think you will be surprised at the information available to the public. For example, Krispy Kreme provides access to their latest quarterly financial results, their 10-Q and 10-K forms, their 2011 Annual Report and the latest proxy statement.  If you don’t have luck with your businesses’ website, try the incorporating state’s Secretary of State Department.

Not for lack of being verbose, I think I’ll sum up this post with the words of comedian Mitch Hedberg, “I bought a doughnut and they me a receipt for the … I don’t need a receipt for the doughnut.  I give you money and you give me the doughnut, end of transaction.  We don’t need to bring ink and paper into this.  I can’t imagine a scenario that I would have to prove that I bought a doughnut.  To some skeptical friend, ‘Don’t even act like I didn’t get that doughnut, I’ve got the documentation right here…It’s in my file at home.. Under D.”  So the only difference here is that you will keep your corporate research in your file for Krispy Kreme… under K.

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