It's (almost) time to make the donuts!
Until recently, the Dunkin' Donuts tagline, "America Runs on Dunkin'" would have been more accurately "America Except for the Pacific Time Zone Runs on Dunkin'". You can order a jelly doughnut in Ecuador, Pakistan, Bulgaria, and Phoenix, but not in California -- but that will be changing. Last year the chain announced it was moving into Orange County and the Inland Empire, and Monday announced its plan to open 80 stores in Northern California, according to NBC -- but slowly, over the next five or six years.
This is going to lead to lots of nostalgic moments for lots of people. For anyone born east of the Mississippi, it was rare to have a week go by in elementary school when it wasn't someone's birthday, and that someone's mom didn't bring in a box of 48 Munchkins, and everybody clamored for the glazed ones, and the unpopular kids were stuck with boring old powdered sugar. This is especially true in Massachusetts, where Dunkin' Donuts enjoys such ubiquity that even Starbucks had trouble clawing in, and an SNL sketch about a New England game show called "What's The Best Way" awarded points for navigating via Dunkin' Donuts. And after Hurricane Sandy, Dunkin Donuts was the only place my mom could get coffee for the nine days she had no power. It's a brand with seriously intense customer loyalty.
Although increasingly known for that coffee (which is surprisingly decent), iced drinks like the Coolatta, and for those sub-par bagels they're always pushing, the donuts at Dunkin' Donuts are typically pretty good -- especially if you stick to the classics, like Boston Kreme and Chocolate Glazed. It's likely that DD will nestle comfortably in the suburbs and in places like Union Square and SFO, and they'll probably be paired, KFC-Taco Bell-style, with corporate sibling Baskin-Robbins, earning scorn from artisanal-donut types. As for me, I'm sorry in advance, Maple Bacon Glaze, but my heart is divided.