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Rudolph the Doughnut Makers

From rather humble beginnings in 1957, Krispy Kreme, similar to other American franchises seem to be appearing more and more on the High Streets of the UK. From the smells of fresh doughnuts wafting out of their original Kentucky bakery, this humble glazed ring of a sugary treat has travelled across continents. Who would have thought that two brothers, keen to try their hand at a recipe they had just acquired from a New Orleans chef, would achieve worldwide notoriety and their bow tie branding would become as recognisable as it is? Yet that is exactly the rise to fame for Vernon and Lewis Rudolf, the doughnut makers, who established their first shop in the hometown of their favourite cigarette manufacturers, Camel – Old Salem in North Carolina.


Their first opening was exactly that – a window became the kiosk to the customer, lured in by the sirens of sugar, to spend their money. Whether it was from the factory shop workers alone, the bakery went from strength to strength, soon able to take over more of the premises and show off their wares in glass display cabinets. Further temptations of all shapes, sizes colours and flavours appeared; combinations more aligned to a Roald Dahl novel than reality. Delivery vans soon started bringing the doughnuts to you, protected by their ever more glamorous packaging! The boxes got bigger and profits increased, and before long one shop became two. Soon one state became two, one country became two and then one continent became two. The franchise model was taking the Rudolf brothers far and wide.


I have heard that putting an ‘Assorted Ring Dozen’ of Krispy Kreme doughnuts on the staff room table means “Well-being is covered off for another half-term”. As teachers tuck into their ‘Caramel Iced’, ‘Choc Sprinkles’ or ‘Original Glazed’ they may temporarily be thankful, but like the sugar-fix that the doughnut gives them, they will need to be satiated with something more substantial soon! Well-being is often seen as giving something and maybe it is? However, rather than a fried, yeast-based treat, maybe what is needed is praise, reassurance, encouragement or time, instead? An assorted collection of these things, with each teacher preferring the ‘Caramel Consideration’, ‘Hope Sprinkled’ or the ever popular ‘Original Assurance’. These things are free, yet take up precious time. They also need to be timed well in order to be authentic and thus resonating with the receiver. Get them right however, and they last longer than a doughnut in the memory.


Put simply, doughnuts are not enough! Well-being and resilience are more than just a treat. It is a daily practice of putting things into your day that genuinely top you up, or top others up. Time spent on genuine connection is time well spent. See the transaction as not money for sugar, but time invested in the people who are teaching. In these Covid-times, this matters more than ever. We are all under pressure, all doing new things and thus we all need genuine connection and support from colleagues, friends and family. Start today and sprinkle a little happiness.

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