Dunkin' Donuts plans store in Victoria (video)

July 17, 2013 at 2:17 a.m.
Updated July 18, 2013 at 2:18 a.m.

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Nationwide chain Dunkin' Donuts may open a Victoria location in 12 to 14 months. Local coffee and donut fans react.  Video by Sarah Ganzhorn for The Victoria Advocate

Baristas beware, one big-name breakfast provider could have competition percolating in the Crossroads.

Dunkin' Donuts plans to find a home in Victoria, and signs show the company could be going after the coffee business.

The Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin', once known for its holey confections, now considers itself firmly in the beverage biz, Forbes quoted Paul Carbone, Dunkin's chief financial officer, as telling investors and analysts in June.

"We are a beverage company," Carbone said in a story posted on Forbes' website. "Fred the Baker is not coming back."

The move in Victoria is part of an expansion throughout the Lone Star state, said Jennifer Evans, a company spokeswoman. In addition to nine new locations finding homes in Houston, the company plans to enter Victoria, the Rio Grande Valley and Beaumont.

The soonest a store would hit the Crossroads would be the next 12 to 14 months, Evans said.

"That whole area - that stretch of Texas - is untapped territory," she said. "It provides a wonderful opportunity for Dunkin' Donuts."

Evans said the company's goal is to provide an accessible resource within the community at any time of day. Hot and iced coffee, donuts, bagels and muffins are available all day, every day, she said, noting items such as chicken sandwiches, teas and others also join the mix.

"Dunkin' can offer something to you no matter what time you go in," she said.

Stephanie Zapata, a barista and manager at Huvar's Artisan Market, 110 W. Juan Linn St., said she doesn't feel threatened by Dunkin's pending arrival.

"I don't think we need one," she said of the chain, "but they can try."

No one does the work Huvar's does, she said, explaining it's a specialty coffee shop with fresh, organic ingredients. Even the caramel, she said, is made from scratch.

"I don't find them to be competition," said Zapata, who has five years of experience making coffee, has attended Seattle's Coffee Fest and undergone master barista training.

Still, she said, Dunkin' Donuts will likely do well in Victoria.

"It's something that Victoria will take in because people like that stuff," she said.

Starbucks opened in Victoria in 2006 and has been a part of the community ever since, said Alisa Martinez, a Starbucks spokeswoman. Martinez didn't offer comment specifically regarding Dunkin's future plans but said Starbucks was proud to provide a place for people to connect, enjoy time on their own or grab a cup of coffee to go.

She described Victoria's coffee community as a laid-back environment.

"It sounds like there are other shops in town and everybody is happily cohabitating," she said.

Savoeurn Mam, who owns Tasty Donuts at 1305 Sam Houston Drive, said there is a demand for donuts in Victoria. With a new chain coming in, people might want to try something different.

As a business owner, however, Mam doesn't look forward to yet another shop in town.

"There are too many," he said in between selling sausage rolls and sprinkled donuts to the customers who entered his doors. "I don't think we need another store."

Tammy Perez, a cashier at Shipley Do-Nuts at 1406 E. Rio Grande St., agreed.

Perez has worked at the shop off and on for nearly 15 years, she said, and it's true that Victoria residents like their donuts. Still, there are enough shops already.

"All areas are covered," she said. "Wherever there's high traffic in Victoria, there's already a donut store."

Meanwhile, some Crossroads residents said they look forward to having another option in town.

Courtney Steward, a Victoria mother of three, said the city could use another store. Although she doesn't drink coffee - she said it makes her sleepy - she's always up for a good donut.

"This would be cool," she said. "I'd like to have a different place to go."

Victoria resident Thomas Cox, who munched on donut holes and a Long John bar last week inside Super Donuts, also said he welcomed the new business in town. He's visited Dunkin' stores in the Grapevine area, he said, and liked what he saw.

"I think they could do well here," he said.

Although he said he'd likely visit a new store in town, he wasn't sure which confection he'd want to try first.

With donuts, he said, it's difficult.

"I like them all," he said with a laugh.



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