Slideshow: Scenes From The 2nd Annual Krispy Kreme Blogger Summit

The Original Shop
The Original Shop
For Krispy Kreme's 75th Birthday in 2012, this plaque was erected on the site of the original doughnut shop in old Salem. The company prides itself on being a Winston-Salem based business since day one.
Some Custom Kremes
Some Custom Kremes
The trip highlight was probably the opportunity to go to town decorating my own Krispy Kreme doughnuts. These beautiful specimens are the work of the mom bloggers accompanying me on the trip, but I made my own special design...
...Serious Kreme
...Serious Kreme
It might not be covered in all sorts of fancy chocolate art, but this dulce de leche-filled doughnut had the most heart.
Oreo Doughnut
Oreo Doughnut
Since the test kitchen only stocks certain products at any given time, I didn't have the opportunity to try this absolutely awesome-looking doughnut. Has anybody had a chance to try it?
A Consumer Packaged Cornucopia
A Consumer Packaged Cornucopia
I was unaware of how many consumer packaged goods came out of the Krispy Kreme empire. They offer classic-style doughnuts, single-serving pies and minis in certain markets.
Chocolate Tasting
Chocolate Tasting
A representative from Barry Callebaut, Krispy Kreme's chocolate supplier, stopped by to take us through the many varieties of chocolate that find their way into and onto the doughnuts. The biggest revelation? A chocolate coating that offered all the satisfaction of a Klondike bar without the subpar ice cream.
Blueberry Cake Doughnut
Blueberry Cake Doughnut
Although Krispy Kreme's signature glazed number is a yeast doughnut, don't discount the heavier cake doughnuts. This little guy tasted like a blueberry muffin condensed into a round and coated with glaze—in other words: awesome.
Double Dark Chocolate
Double Dark Chocolate
This doughnut is for serious chocolate eaters. Two kinds of chocolate icing, as well as a chocolate creme, grace the doughnut and mingle with the classic glaze.
Barbie x Krispy Decoration Kit
Barbie x Krispy Decoration Kit
My fellow bloggers were more enamored with this item than I was, but it is one of the more curious merchandising tie-ins I've come across. This doughnut decoration kit includes icing pens and edible ornaments that children can use to add a signature touch to their doughnuts. Now Mattel can say that there's actually a Barbie product for everything.
Chefs Mark and Ron
Chefs Mark and Ron
In a Q&A session, Krispy Kreme's two top corporate chefs talked about innovation within the brand. In a particularly interesting moment, Chef Mark discussed how he finds inspiration for doughnuts in seemingly random places—such as car shows. Particularly, the design elements and colors influence how the doughnuts end up with a sleek and universally appealing aesthetic. When I asked what made the doughnuts so special, however, I got a predictably ambiguous answer. The chefs explained that the refined and unique pairing of custom equipment with quality ingredients makes Krispy Kreme doughnuts stand out. And the mystery prevails...
Three Distinct Coffees
Three Distinct Coffees
Under the guidance of a Starbucks vet, Krispy Kreme overhauled their coffee offerings about a year ago. Each variety has its own particular blend of beans—the dark roast, not too acidic and surprisingly balanced, was my personal favorite.
Dark Chocolate for Valentine's Day
Dark Chocolate for Valentine's Day
In addition to their signature heart-shaped doughnuts, Krispy Kreme will be debuting these special doughnuts in which dark chocolate is the star.