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Dunkin' Donuts planning to move into Twin Cities, Duluth markets

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One of the biggest players in the coffee-and-donut world is making a play for Minnesota.

Northland's News Center reports Dunkin' Donuts is working to line up investors for 10 franchises in the Twin Cities and as many as five in Duluth. An official with the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce tells the station they were approached by the Massachusetts-based company for help lining up prospective franchisees.

Why now? Well, some in the state have been asking "why not yet?"

Facebook has a "Bring Dunkin' Donuts to Minnesota" page. And, as you might suspect, the posts have a singular focus.

For the uninitiated, Dunkin' Donuts is the world's leading coffee and baked goods chain, according to its website. From a single store that opened in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1950 it now has more than 10,000 franchises in 36 states.

Why not Minnesota? WCCO's Good Question segment put that query to University of St. Thomas marketing expert Dave Brennan last summer. Brennan says decisions about where chains open are a little like a chess game. And currently Caribou and Dunn Brothers hold a pretty strong position in Minnesota.

The Northland's News Center report says Dunkin' Donuts plans to hold a conference for Minnesota investors on Jan. 21. The station notes this is shaping up as a big year for restaurant franchises in Duluth, with Qdoba, Panera Bread, and Chipotle all planning openings.

Incidentally, that first Dunkin' Donuts shop in Quincy, Mass., is still around. In fact, it recently received a retro-renovation. Photos from the Boston Globe offer a stroll through the chain's history.

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