Dunkin' Donuts to try again in Minnesota

Late last week, Steve Rafferty, the senior director for Dunkin' Brands U.S. franchising, announced that Dunkin' Donuts plans to open approximately 50 stores around Minnesota starting in 2015.

This isn't the first time Dunkin' Donuts has attempted to return to the state; the company tried and failed to open 100 restaurants in 2008. The same happened in 2001. And remember Krispy Kreme? The franchise lasted in Minnesota for a mere six years, closing its last stores in early 2008. Take note, Dunkin' Donuts: According to a Kare 11 story from 2008, the Krispy Kreme decline may have resulted from the company's attempts to open too many stores too soon.

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Though Dunkin' Donuts has a track record of total domination in the donut market, local donut shop owners aren't fretting.

Sarah Jane Lovegren, the owner of Sarah Jane's Bakery, said she isn't worried about Dunkin' Donuts taking her shop's business. "I don't think their quality can stand up to a from-scratch bakery," she said. Lovegren remembers that Sarah Jane's was "super busy" the weekend Krispy Kreme opened. "They got the word out about donuts," she said.

Jesse Hedman, a baker at Mojo Monkey, feels similarly about the effect Dunkin' Donuts will have on local shops. "I can't speak for the owner or the business but, as a person who's been baking and personally working with donuts for awhile, I think it could be a good thing," he said. "It could bring awareness of donut culture to Minnesota."

Arwyn Birch, who co-owns Glam Doll Donuts with Teresa Fox, said she feels confident that Glam Doll will retain its loyal customer base. "[Glam Doll and Dunkin Donuts are] completely different worlds of donut businesses and donut clientele," she said. "People who are looking for that type of a donut, that type of experience behind their donut, I think they have places to go and they will go there anyway."

What do you, our faithful Hot Dish readers think? Are you excited for Dunkin's Minnesota revival?

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