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August 2, 2005 9:05 AM CDT

Glazed Masonry Supports Krispy Kreme in Chicago


Krispy Kreme is famous worldwide because of its signature doughnut, "Hot Original Glazed." Now, a glaze of another type and originality has been applied to the construction of the company's new store on Chicago's Pulaski Avenue to support Krispy Kreme's colors. You can also say it's quite hot when it comes out of the "oven," much hotter than any doughnut baking process.

It's ceramic glazed masonry, produced by Stark Ceramics, Canton, Ohio, and it's designed to be UV-resistant, necessary to maintain the colors of the new store for many years.

Ceramic glazed provided the solution for Krispy Kreme and its developer in Chicago, Sweet Traditions LLC. They wanted to make certain that the new store would retain its deep, forest green color that has always been associated with Krispy Kreme's name and doughnut boxes. It was essential that color fading, which can easily happen to a store's exterior, be avoided.

Rauch Clay Sales Corp, Stark Ceramics' Chicago distributor, approached Sweet Traditions to suggest the use of ceramic glazed masonry products to strengthen the look because of their guaranteed UV resistance and hard fixed surface. In addition, Rauch suggested interior glazed products with performance characteristics to keep the colors consistent.

While Mike Zoretic & Sons of Creek, Ill., was the chosen mason contractor for the Pulaski store, Rosemont Masonry of Rosemont, Ill. has provided masonry services for Krispy Kreme stores using ceramic glazed.

"I've found that you have to handle these products delicately during construction, but once they're in the wall, they're very durable," said Rob Degen, one of two brothers who own Rosemont Masonry. "You also have to make custom cuts in the block to accommodate plumbing and electrical pipes that are concealed inside.

"Another point to consider is that we used a stacked bond, which requires perfect joints," Degen said. "It has to be more precise than the usual running bond you have with brick."

How are these products created? "We produce them in a high fire tunnel kiln at more than 2,000 degrees," said Mark Rojek, Stark Ceramics executive vice president. "Ceramic glazed brick created from this process is the most UV-resistant product you can get."

Rojek explained that after high heat is applied to ceramic and clay fired material, transformation occurs, the clay masonry body is fused at a molecular level and glaze is applied.

"What you actually have is a vitrifying process that creates a glass-like product," Rojek said, "and glass is UV-resistant."

The products have lived up to their expectations. Krispy Kreme was so pleased with their performance that it ordered ceramic glazed masonry installed at 11 new Chicago-area locations.

About the Author

Masonry, the official publication of the Mason Contractors Association of America, covers every aspect of the mason contractor profession - equipment and techniques, building codes and standards, business planning, promoting your business, legal issues and more. Read or subscribe to Masonry magazine at


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