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Sweet opening day for Dunkin' Donuts
BARSTOW • California’s first public-accessible Dunkin’ Donuts opened at Barstow Station on Monday.
The coffee-and-donut chain has been popular on the East Coast for decades and is about to make a major run at the California consumer. Since January, the company has made 70 franchise agreements to open free-standing restaurants starting in 2015.
A Dunkin’ Donuts spokesperson could not confirm exact locations for the stores on Monday, but the release states that franchises are planned for the counties of San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura and Orange.
A Dunkin’ Donuts has been open at Camp Pendleton since last year, but that store is only open to people with access to the military base.
Customers lined up in Barstow on Monday as the doors opened, some finally getting their first-ever taste of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.
Deron Parkson traveled from Moreno Valley just to try the coffee his wife has been “raving” about for years.
“My wife is from Back East and says life isn’t the same without Dunkin’ Donuts coffee,” Parkson said. “Luckily we both had the day off work and have been keeping an eye on the opening date. The coffee is good, really good. I see what the all the fuss was about.”
Utah resident Jers Bennett just happened stop at Barstow Station on Monday morning as his family drove to Los Angeles. Bennett had never tried Dunkin’ Donuts before.
Bennett said on the way back to Utah next week, the family could expect another stop at Barstow Station. Bennett is looking forward to trying a different blend of coffee, and he said he fell in love the fluffiness of the original glazed donut.
Alex Apodaca, one of the six owners of the Barstow Dunkin’ Donuts franchise, said this is hands-down the best coffee in the world.
“Once the West Coast starts to sample our coffee, they will see exactly what the East Coast has been talking about for all these years,” Apodaca said.
Dunkin’ Donuts, based in Massachusetts, has unveiled a plan to eventually have 1,000 restaurants in California.
Apodaca, the chief operations officer, said the location in Barstow couldn’t have been any better to introduce Dunkin’ Donuts to California residents and tourists.
“I grew up in Southern California and this was always the stop-point to Vegas as a kid with my parents — we always stopped here,” Apodaca said. “So when the business opportunity came up, it was a no-brainer. We have big hopes. We can’t wait to get entrenched in the community. We love this tight-knit community.”
Co-owner of the historic Barstow Station Billy Rosenberg said all of the employees hired by Dunkin’ Donuts are from Barstow, and the contractor, plumbing and other companies used to construct the business were all based in Barstow.
“That’s important to the Rosenberg family,” Rosenberg said. “Every opportunity we get, we try to bring in companies from the community.”
According to Rosenberg, two more businesses including a Subway are set to open in the next two months at Barstow Station, located at 1611 East Main Street, just east of the Main Street exit on Interstate 15.
Jose Quintero can be reached at 760-256-4122 or JQuintero@DesertDispatch.com.