Dunkin' Donuts makes its way to northern Minnesota

Well, Minnesota, it's finally happening: Dunkin' Donuts is giving us another chance. The chain's first Minnesota location opened in Rochester's Kahler Grand Hotel on June 30, and five additional Rochester locations will open in the coming months. On Monday, Dunkin' announced plans to open seven locations in northern Minnesota by spring 2015 -- which means America's top coffee and doughnut chain is inching closer to the Twin Cities by the day.

See also: Dunkin' Donuts tries to try again in Minnesota

The upcoming northern Minnesota locations will be financed by Brian and Sharon Weiden­dorf, owners and developers of Land and Lease Development in Hinckley. The couple had been looking for opportunities with expanding businesses for some time and, as regular Dunkin' Donuts customers, felt the company would be a good fit, Brian Weidendorf told the Star Tribune.

The couple plans to open Dunkin' Donuts locations in Brainerd, Hibbing, Duluth, and Superior, Wisconsin, among others. Three locations will be built from the ground up, while Duluth's will be in a remodeled space.

Dunkin' Donuts has yet to announce plans for Twin Cities locations, but they're on the hunt for franchisees. The company is hosting a seminar in Edina for interested investors this evening. To drum up interest among investors, Dunkin' Donuts is offering decreased royalty fees for three years and up to $10,000 in marketing for stores that "meet certain goals."

In January, Steve Rafferty, the senior director for Dunkin' Brands U.S. franchising announced that the company had plans to open 50 Dunkin' Donuts locations throughout the state of Minnesota, starting in 2015. Clearly, things are happening faster than anticipated, with one location already open for business in Rochester.

City Pages touched base with local doughnut shop owners early this winter to see how they felt about a corporate doughnut chain entering the state.

"[Glam Doll and Dunkin Donuts are] completely different worlds of doughnut businesses and doughnut clientele," Arwyn Birch, who co-owns Glam Doll Donuts with Teresa Fox, told Hot Dish. "People who are looking for that type of a doughnut, that type of experience behind their doughnut, I think they have places to go and they will go there anyway."

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