The Washington County recipient of a new business award being presented statewide by Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is a familiar sweet spot.
Dignitaries, friends and Krumpe’s Do-Nuts workers crowded into the donut shop off Maryland Avenue on Monday afternoon as Franchot bestowed the Cornerstone Award for Local Business Excellence to the longstanding institution.
The new award recognizes small and family-owned businesses that celebrate the guiding values of independence, innovation and investment that define Maryland’s local business community, according to the Comptroller of Maryland’s website.
The recipients have adapted to economic challenges, overcome the changing marketplace and evolved to meet customer demands. They have also given back to the community, the website said.
Franchot said Krumpe’s Do-Nuts is a vital small business that has helped Maryland become the richest state in the U.S. in terms of family income.
Max Krumpe, operations manager for Krumpe’s Do-Nuts, said the business owes its start to his great-grandfather who came to the U.S. from Germany in the early 1900s. He ended up becoming a baker in York, Pa., and later started his own business known as “Mother Krumpe’s Do-nut” shop.
The business had several locations, including one in Hagerstown.
The family business continued to thrive and grow through the years, and today, Krumpe’s Do-Nuts pumps out about 520 dozen donuts a day, Krumpe said.
Franchot said he was just in Ocean City for a conference and joined Gov. Larry Hogan, who had a big box of Thrasher’s French Fries in one hand and a pizza in the other as he walked down the boardwalk.
Franchot joked that it was good eats, but they would need to work off the food.
“Now I’m up here for my favorite food,” said Franchot.
Looking around the shop, Franchot remarked how homey it felt, as if he was in his grandparents’ house. Generation after generation of the Krumpe family have worked in the shop, and Franchot turned to youngsters who work there.
“Someone pays you to work around a donut shop. That’s great,” said Franchot.
The shop is lined with old and new photographs that help tell the shop’s story. Among them are photos that help illustrate the shop’s dedication to the community: the annual Krumpe’s Do-Nut Drop downtown. It’s Hagerstown’s New Year’s Eve celebration; Krumpe’s gives out free donuts to revelers.
Washington County Board of Commissioners President Jeff Cline praised Krumpe’s Do-Nuts for helping people gather valuable work experience. Kids can get their first jobs there and learn the importance of “showing up, working hard and earning their way through life,” Cline said.
Krumpe’s opens at 7 p.m., and people tell stories of slipping down a narrow alley to get to the shop and take home some fresh donuts. It closes at 2 a.m., when drivers start taking donuts to local establishments.
Del. Paul Corderman, R-Washington, said he remembered going to the shop as a kid.
“Now I come here with my daughter,” Corderman said.
Franchot is delivering his award to recipients in each of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City. He was planning to head to a Frederick County business that hires people who have served time or had addiction problems.