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Hagerstown doughnut legend Krumpe dies at 74

December 09, 2000

Hagerstown doughnut legend Krumpe dies at 74



By MARLO BARNHART and LAURA ERNDE / Staff Writers


The sweet legacy of Max Krumpe - Hagerstown's premier doughnut maker - will live on, kept alive by his two sons, who, years ago, joined him in creating his famous delicacies.

Plagued by physical ailments in recent months, Krumpe passed away Friday at the age of 74.

"Our dad did keep the doughnut recipe in his head, that's true, but he also shared it with me and my brother, Fred," Rudy Krumpe said Saturday.

Two years ago, Max and Juanita Krumpe celebrated 50 years of doughnut making and 50 years of marriage. They said then they hadn't tired of making - or eating - their homemade doughnuts.

The doughnuts are made from scratch six days a week using fresh eggs, flour, shortening, salt, sugar and ... potatoes. In addition to selling from a shop in an alley behind 912 Maryland Ave., Krumpe's delivers doughnuts to local businesses.

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The recipe hasn't changed since 1932, when Max Krumpe's father, a German immigrant, bought it from a York, Pa., doughnut maker named Schmidt.

In 1935, the doughnuts and the Krumpes came to Hagerstown, where the confections have become widely known.

Max Krumpe learned baking in the Merchant Marines at 17 during World War II when he prepared breads and breakfast for 45 people a day with a coal-fired oven and no mixer.

Back to Hagerstown when the war ended, Max Krumpe received his father's blessing to expand into the wholesale doughnut market.

Albert Krumpe continued to run his own small retail shop in Funkstown until 1970.

The Krumpe's first shop was at the corner of Jonathan and North streets, where they made just three kinds of doughnuts - glazed, cinnamon twist and creme-filled.

Over the years, that grew to the average nightly run of 1,200 dozen, or 14,400 doughnuts in 22 varieties, according to a 1998 Herald-Mail story.

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