You probably heard all about it yesterday as it seemed to sweep the news by storm. Literally. From the Duluth News Tribune to the local news stations such as WDIO and Fox 21, even to the Wall Street Journal, just about everyone seemed to be going insane with excitement over the announcement that America’s favorite coffee and baked goods shop has solidified plans for seven new Duluth area locations. We don’t blame everyone over the excitement. After all, America runs on Dunkin’.
What began a small donut shop in Canton, Massachusetts in 1950, has grown to an iconic international brand with over 11,000 locations in 33 countries. Such an iconic brand would without a doubt have a large presence in Minnesota then, right? Well, no, not at all actually. In fact, the first Dunkin’ Donuts location in Minnesota opened last month in the Kahler Hotel in Downtown Rochester. While the company did have locations in Minnesota in the past, the final one closed in the early 2000’s in Austin, Minnesota.
This time around the company is planning an aggressive expansion within the state of Minnesota. The first major expansion of stores within the state is expected to occur right here in the Duluth area.
The first location, which will open this Spring in a remodeled space near the Miller Hill Mall in Duluth, will mark the first opening of SEVEN planned locations in the Duluth area. When we say the Duluth area…we don’t mean that ALL seven will be within the Duluth city limits, at least not the first seven.
Brian and Sharon Weidendorf will be the local franchise holders. They’re based out of Hinckley, Minnesota and are no new comers to the restaurant industry. The couple has over 30 years of experience in the real estate development industry and is in fact currently developing a new McDonald’s restaurant in Moose Lake. Joining Brian and Sharon Weidendorf will be Pat Messina, another knowledge filled individual who will manage the daily operations of each Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant.
Now on to the specifics.
The first location as mentioned above will open this coming Spring in Duluth. Various sources have stated that the location will be near the Miller Hill Mall in a remodeled space. We’ve of course begun to make a mental list of where this could specifically be. One logical choice could be the former Dairy Queen building on Central Entrance which would require extensive renovations. There also are potential spaces within various retail strip centers in the Miller Hill Mall area. New Dunkin’ Donuts locations tend to be in newly constructed freestanding buildings, however those that are not tend to be placed on end caps of retail centers in order to have access for a drive thru. We’re currently working on narrowing down the potential spaces and hope to be able to announce a specific location within the very near future.
Duluth however won’t be the only one place getting a bit of Dunkin’ Donuts love. Three additional cities have been identified as future homes for Dunkin’ Donuts locations. Those cities being Brainerd, Hibbing, and a location on Tower Avenue in Superior. Which means there will be Dunkin’ Donuts on both sides of the Twin Ports. No need to fight over those delicious donuts and freshly brewed coffee. Let’s be civil.
With the above being stated that still leaves us wondering where the other three potential locations could be. There’s the obvious East and West Duluth areas that both could support a location along with the Cloquet area. There’s also the greater Iron Range area too.
Regardless, news will break in the coming months on the specifics of these seven planned locations. Until then we can only really have sweet dreams of the freshly brewed coffee and delicious donuts that will soon be served from our local Dunkin’ Donuts. With this opening in the spring we will officially be marking the end of all our struggles trying to get those donuts through the TSA on our way home from our Chicago business trips. So in advance, thank you Dunkin’ Donuts.
Check back right here at CDINDULUTH for more details soon!