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The History of Dunkin Donuts

By June 26, 2009

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It all started in 1946 when William Rosenberg (founder of Dunkin Donuts and also the International Franchise Association) invested $5,000 to form Industrial Luncheon Services, a company that delivered meals and coffee break snacks to customers in the outskirts of Boston, Massachusetts. The success of Industrial Luncheon Services led Rosenberg to open his first coffee and donut shop, the "Open Kettle". Then, in 1950, Rosenberg opened the first store known as Dunkin' Donuts in Quincy, Massachusetts.

The First Dunkin Donuts Location

The first Dunkin’ Donuts shop (shown left) was opened in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1950. The company began franchising five years later. By 1963, there were over 100 Dunkin Donuts shops open and by 1979 over 1000 loctaions open.

Photo: FranchiseTimes.com

July 2, 2009 at 9:26 am
(1) franchise guide says:

Very impressive history! This would surely inspire entrepreneurs and even the would-be ones to be courageous and smart in business ventures especially in franchising.

January 11, 2010 at 1:30 pm
(2) daniel says:

is the orignal store,still in operation? or has it been,torn down,converted into a different buisness?

February 18, 2010 at 8:40 am
(3) City of Presidents says:

The original store is still there on Southern Artery in Quincy.

October 3, 2010 at 7:32 pm
(4) Boston donkey says:

What people don’t realize is that he also invented the first canteen truck. Delivering hot lunches to the Quincy Shipyard.

October 5, 2010 at 5:08 am
(5) renz says:

wow, thats crazy but its an inspiring history though..

October 7, 2010 at 2:36 pm
(6) andrew sason says:

cool history

January 17, 2011 at 9:32 am
(7) tammy says:

Wow, I learned something new today !
DD coffee is the world’s BEST ever……….
thank you!

January 22, 2011 at 9:29 pm
(8) Rich says:

The canteen trucks were blue and the slogan painted on them was: “Large or small we feed them all”. There also was a sister business – Industrial Catering.
They also attempted to get into the low cost hamburger business with Howdy Hamburgers and pizza with the Leaning Tower of Pizza. Both of these failed. Ironic that McDonalds started the same time frame with the same concept. His brother Robert was also in the business.

April 19, 2011 at 10:41 pm
(9) Mansfield, PA says:

Hey – there was a Dunkin Doughnuts in Mansfield PA in the mid-70s when I was in college there. I’m wondering if anyone can tell me what number franchise that is/was (it’s still in operation as far as I know) . I never saw any others around back then and assumed it was a local chain of some kind. Was surprised a few years ago when they started showing up on TV ads and etc . To the site admin – the email I left is a working address – if you know please respond to it. – THx

June 10, 2011 at 8:26 pm
(10) Julie West says:

I currently work at a DD and I found it very interesting to read the history of DD. And I have to add DD coffee is far better then Starbucks.

June 22, 2011 at 8:50 pm
(11) Dian De Marco says:

I would like to know where the original dunkin donut,Donut the donut with the handle on it it was the best donut dunkin made,now when we go there they only have the round donut,the donut with the handle on it seemed to disapear it was made unque just to hold the handle part of the donut and dunk in the coffee,i it seems nodody knows what I’m talking about when I go to the dunkin donut shop.do you know why you stopped making the original dunkin donut with the handle? Thank yo ,Dian
I hope I get a reply!

July 23, 2011 at 8:04 pm

just got back from my first trip to the northeast,boston area included , dunkin is on every corner, i love the donuts and better yet the great friendly people.

July 27, 2011 at 10:42 pm
(13) Joe says:

I used to look forward to DD coffee and though I am not fond of donuts I liked DD’s best. The taste of all things Dunkin continues to get worse. If this trend continues, advertising and convenience will not be enough to keep them in business.

September 9, 2011 at 8:15 pm
(14) Michael says:

Bring back the original Dunkin Donut with the Handle!!!!!

October 12, 2011 at 9:58 pm
(15) Kayla says:

Actually this is incorrect. The first Dunkin’ Donuts was in Lewiston, Maine and was founded by my uncle, Jaques St.Jean. He sold the store to William because he didn’t think it was going anywhere. I find it offensive that no one seemed to mention that anywhere on the internet.

November 12, 2011 at 12:05 am
(16) Julie says:

My first job was a Dunkin Donut counter girl in 1975 in Skokie,Illinois.I wore a really cute pink dress with apron and hat.Would love to see photo of that uniform.

November 22, 2011 at 10:55 am
(17) gh says:

you all suck and are all fat

December 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm
(18) juvy c. somido says:

nyc history
we all more thing 2 learn,,,,,

January 15, 2012 at 12:53 pm
(19) Sandy says:

I loved the Blueberry Oatbran Muffins that DD used to make 10 or 15 years ago then they stopped making them and have been hungry for one many times. I would love the recipe.

February 15, 2012 at 4:47 pm
(20) cindi p says:

Dunkin donuts has always been my favorite place for coffeeand Kayla,there is nothing found to sustantiate your claim thet your uncle owned the first DD…the name came after .

April 7, 2012 at 6:22 pm
(21) Rick says:

Sadly Fred doesn’t make the donuts anymore. Commercialization has ruined what once was a great cup of coffee an’. All the counters are gone, styrofoam cups from Dow Chemical Co. make DD a place I do not go to anymore. I’m sure it’s a habit for most people.

April 20, 2012 at 7:19 am
(22) hvac units says:

Currently living in Gresham, Oregon.

April 30, 2012 at 10:20 am
(23) yeah buddy says:

DUDEEE YOUR ALL WERIDDDD> DD is the way to goo

May 8, 2012 at 12:44 am
(24) brenda says:

I am trying to find some history on a former dunkin donuts store in rantoul, illinois. The dunkin donut store We have in town is in a newer building and I am trying to prove to several people that a previous store in town.
Any info will be welcome

July 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm
(25) mona says:

my husband and i started buying duncan donut coffee from the store about 2 years ago. it is now the only coffee we buy it is the best tasting coffee we have ever drank. we .buy the regular blend. i have had compliments on it when i offer it to company. please don’t ever stop making it.

October 9, 2012 at 2:15 pm
(26) maria sanchez says:

Luuuuuuuuuuuuuvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv the donuts :) need to have a branch in Jamaica

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