Who: Mike Cecil
Company: Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corp.
Has Held Title For: 4 years
Previous Title: Producer of commercials and industrial films
Degree: BA in English, Guilford College
Sometimes a doughnut is not just a doughnut. The warm glazed rings served up at Krispy Kreme are an institution. Just ask Mike Cecil, the company's Minister of Culture, who has the enviable task of promoting a product so beloved that marketing it seems redundant. The North Carolina company's yeast-raised confections have evolved from being Southern comfort food to becoming the hot snack du jour. They've earned a spot at the Smithsonian, and made cameo appearances on "ER." But the best endorsement may have come from Willard Scott, who announced that he worships in "the church of Krispy Kreme." Does that slice of heaven come without calories?
How do you promote doughnut culture?
Like Charles Kurault, I go out and interview customers and employees for a video magazine that chronicles our history.
Are doughnuts an endangered species in this low-fat era?
To our customers, Krispy Kremes are more than doughnuts - they're stories. People get a dreamy look in their eyes when they talk about them.
Does your job make you hungry?
I have some kind of doughnut every day. But I'm in great shape, by the way.
A version of this article appeared in the September 1998 issue of Fast Company magazine.