Dunkin' Donuts founder passes on -
September 22, 2002 6:15 PM   Subscribe

Dunkin' Donuts founder passes on - From a single shop in Quincy, Mass. to over 5000 stores around the globe, William Rosenberg created what is probably world's most recognizable donut and coffee chain. (Well, maybe that's because I live in New England, where there's always a DD location within a block radius.) Rosenberg was 86.
posted by MediaMan (31 comments total)
The first time I ever visited Boston, I was blown away by the sheer number of DDs. My friends (and impromptu tour guides) got tired of me shouting out "Damn, there's another one!" every couple of blocks.
posted by ChrisTN at 6:54 PM on September 22, 2002

If it wasn't for Dunkin' Donuts, how else would you know where the party at?
posted by eddydamascene at 7:26 PM on September 22, 2002

Sounds like DD is to New England, what Timmy Hortons is to Ottawa. There's two of them within, literally, 100 feet of each other.

Even the most disgusting of donut addicts can't be in need of a donut fix every hundred feet. (I'd hope.)
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:27 PM on September 22, 2002

Ugh. "Timmy Hortons", way to go...

That'd be TIM HORTON'S.
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:28 PM on September 22, 2002

law enforcement across the nation will be observing a half-dozen glazed moments of silence.
posted by quonsar at 7:39 PM on September 22, 2002

So this chain is sort of the east coast equivalent of Starbucks -- one or two on every urban block and then a few more just for branding purposes?

I thought Dunkin' Donuts was one of those dead brands, like A&W restaurants: faded signs from old shops that have since been abandoned or turned into Korean sandwich joints. I had no idea they were still around. Hrmph, just goes to show you my provincial ignorance!
posted by majick at 7:40 PM on September 22, 2002

The store locator told me that a DD opened in Sacramento this summer.
posted by eddydamascene at 7:51 PM on September 22, 2002

This is sad.

If you ask me, which you didn't, Krispy Kreme makes a better doughnut, but I bet you would expect me to say that.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 8:01 PM on September 22, 2002

Damn, there's a part of the US where DD isn't ubiquitous? From my current location just outside Boston, I am within easy walking distance of four branches. And keep in mind that I moved here recently, so there may be as-yet undiscovered donut havens in my immediate vicinity.
posted by hilatron at 8:04 PM on September 22, 2002

That'd be TIM HORTON'S.

Uhh, that'd be "Tim Hortons" (no apostrophe). Don't believe me? Check for yourself. I don't know why they changed the spelling...
posted by 327.ca at 10:21 PM on September 22, 2002

There are three or four Dunkin Donuts in all of the Seattle area (just one within the city limits). There's at least one place that obviously used to be a Dunkin (Aurora Donuts), though. This just isn't a donut town for some reason.

They are pretty common in the midwest, but even I was impressed with their density in New England.
posted by kindall at 10:39 PM on September 22, 2002

yeah, krispy kreme is definitely better.

oh those late college nights, stoned to bejeezus and sitting at krispy kreme.
posted by aenemated at 10:54 PM on September 22, 2002

Krispy Kreme IS NOT better. I grew up in New England, and even worked at a DD when I was in college. Now I live in Virginia, I think there's like one DD, and tons Of KK. It's just not the same. The coffee isn't as good, and KK doesn't have cookies or bagles.
posted by Miss Beth at 4:11 AM on September 23, 2002

Coming from Atlanta, I will say that Krispy Kreme has better donuts but as a new citizen of Boston, I have to add that Dunkin Donuts must own half of the land in Massachusetts.
posted by Hall at 4:24 AM on September 23, 2002

Actually, the best doughnut can probably be purchased at your local bakery. They tend to be larger, higher quality, and usually around the same price.
posted by benjh at 6:14 AM on September 23, 2002

Since I work right by the DD in Cambridge, MA at various ass-crack-of-dawn hours many mornings each week, I have gone there on different days at a wide range of times between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. I have never gotten a fresh donut (and yes, I also go during normal hours sometimes, with the same result). How can they really never have fresh donuts? Or maybe their just-baked donuts just taste stale? Whatever. There's really no comparison between DD and KK. Krispy Kreme is transcendent. And while I'm sad that Mr. Dunkin has left us, I wish his giant donut franchise would be replaced by a better giant donut franchise.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 6:25 AM on September 23, 2002

Believe it or not, DD is not ubiquitous in most of the US. I was born in Boston where DD is everywhere. In 1976/1977 my father was a student at DDU (Yes, Dunkin Donuts University), by late 1977 my parents opened a DD franchise in Houston, TX. At the time there were only a handful (10?) of DD in the whole city of Houston, you were more likely to find a Shipley's Donuts than DD.

This whole thread brings back fond memories of "Hot & Fresh Now!" long before I ever had a Krispy Kreme. Somewhere I have pictures of the big tubs of jelly filling and the large table that had a vat filled with the glaze with racks of warm donuts sitting above the vat, dripping their gooey goodness as they dried.... Of course, I also have memories of delivering 100 dozen donuts to the state penitentiary in Huntsville, TX and sleeping on 50 lb. bags of donut flour while my parents worked their tails off... and putting my foot through the top of a 5 gallon bucket filled with the base for chocolate frosted donuts...

Those were the days!
posted by FullFrontalNerdity at 6:51 AM on September 23, 2002

the DD in Cambridge, MA

Care to be specific about which one? There are 10 Dunkin Donuts in Cambridge.
posted by briank at 6:54 AM on September 23, 2002

Whoever said A&W is dead, is wrong. They're going fairly strong in Canada. They've even renovated all the ones in the malls near my house.

They do good business too. Crap places to work, mind you.
posted by Dark Messiah at 6:55 AM on September 23, 2002

Time to dig the gra^H^H^H make the donuts.
posted by dr_dank at 7:02 AM on September 23, 2002

I think there's only one Dunkin' Donuts left in Austin. It's hard to find a good doughnut in this town. I prefer Dunkin' Donuts' wares over the Krispy Kreme variety (except for the hot glazed). The DD doughnuts are just bigger and thicker compared to the KK versions.

I miss Tim Hortons' boston creams. Now there's a doughnut!
posted by picea at 7:18 AM on September 23, 2002

grrarrgh00 -- If you're talking about the DD in Central Square, I'm with you. I did get a fresh doughnut there once -- once. I gave up after a while.

And P.S., DD's coffee sucks. I'd get a doughnut from DD, then a coffee from the Starbucks across the street (even though it was staffed by a bunch of mouth-breathing troglodytes).
posted by Turd Ferguson at 7:56 AM on September 23, 2002

Doughnuts. Is there anything they can't do? --Homer Simpson.
posted by brent at 8:34 AM on September 23, 2002

I was blown away, like many others in this thread, at the sheer dominance of Dunkin' Doughnuts here in Boston. Up until a few months ago, they must of had a doughnut monopoly in this city, but I think a Krispy Kreme just recently opened up somewhere around Boston.

Hand in hand with this is the surprising lack of Starbucks here (although they certainly are not impossible to find). Almost all the locals I have met here refuse to drink Starbucks, seeing it as some yuppie pretender to the DD Coffee Throne. To people here, Dunkin Doughnuts is the Coffee of the Working ManTM

That being said, I like Munchkins, but I would kill for some Shipley's Doughnuts from Houston. No stale DD crap, and no frosted boat anchors from KK for me. If you are in Houston, try them, they are great. Light and fluffy.

FYI: My girlfriend says that DD in the Philippines taste completely different. The doughnuts there are very light and flaky....if you care.
posted by thewittyname at 9:48 AM on September 23, 2002

Sure, building a huge chain of doughnut franchises is impressive and all, but Tim Horton did it after he was dead.

(Background for non-'nucks: Tim Horton was a star hockey player who bought a doughnut shop shortly before he retired. Well, he bought it shortly before he tied a couple too many on and wrapped his car around a light pole on the highway from Toronto to Buffalo.)

I suspect that Timmy's holds as high or higher a place in local consciousness as DD in the NE. In Ontario, at least, it is probably the dominant public environment everywhere outside Toronto. (And, fittingly, Hortons long ago ceased to be a Canadian corporation and is in fact owned by Ohio-based Wendy's.)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:53 AM on September 23, 2002

By the way, mine is the Porter Square Dunkin Donuts.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 11:28 AM on September 23, 2002

KK hasn't opened in Boston yet. They just got the necessary zoning clearance to install a drive-thru at their chosen location -- the former Bickford's restaurant near the Wellington T station in Medford. They're expected to open before the end of the year.

(P.S. Medford has 12 DD locations)
posted by briank at 11:39 AM on September 23, 2002

There used to be 1 Dunken Donuts close to my place of residence in Austin, Texas. A few months ago (or more) it went away. I was sad to see it go. I love their coffee rolls.

KK kinda sucks I think. They donuts are too freakin sweat. They are like double glazed or something (yes, even over the chocolate stuff).
posted by f00b4r at 2:35 PM on September 23, 2002

I can report that Tim's is ubiquitous across the prairies and into BC. There's at least one in every town. Can't stand the place, myself.

My guess as to the removal of the apostrophe: it was for the Quebecois language fascists.

A&W is going strong like gangbusters in BC, and their employees seem *delighted* to be of service. I think that, at least in this province, they're being treated really well.

The burgers would be good, if it weren't for being so damn salty.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:16 PM on September 23, 2002

Want to hear something really sad? In the town I live in, in Alabama, there's neither a Dunkin' Donuts OR a Krispy Kreme...the Krispy Kremes you can get boxed at the grocery (glazed and a couple other flavors) and several others can be had at a local quicky-mart-type gas station from a special display, but NEITHER has an actual store where you can buy them fresh. Sucks, as I really loved Dunkin' Donuts back when I lived in Michigan. There's one in Huntsville but I'm not about to drive for an hour everytime I want a Dunkin' Donut. Oh, if you're not about to cry already - I can't get cable or DSL either. HELP!!!!
posted by Jimmy Olsen at 2:01 AM on September 24, 2002

mmm, dd.
KK are to doughnuts as Wonderbread is to bread.
these are not things that should stick to the roof of your mouth.
posted by kid_twist at 11:03 AM on September 29, 2002

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