It’s hard to explain the affection New Englanders have for Dunkin’ Donuts. They’re a staple. They’re everywhere. In the years before the jokes about the Starbucks on every corner, those jokes could have been made about Dunkins in New England towns.
Yes, that’s an old logo without the coffee cup. But that’s how I remember it.
Dunkins was a staple. You had your favorite location, and could always count on them to be open. I remember one night after a high school play dress rehearsal, the entire cast went to Dunkins for a celebratory donuts and coffee (what can I say, Friendly’s was closed already). I used to bring a book and enjoy a chocolate frosted with a pint of milk the way I now enjoy a latte at a coffee shop.
Dunkin Donuts is such a part of the New England landscape, it even made it into an old SNL skit, a New England game show called “What’s the Best Way?” – as every New Englander knows, it’s not whether you can get from one place to anther, but the BEST WAY to do so:
Stanley Sperrow: Ok folks, back to our game. From Hartford to Sturbridge -
(Katie buzzes in)
Katie McGregor: Ok, now that’s straight on route 84, but you’re gonna want to avoid the tourist traps up there, now, if you go up Manhill Road,you’ll see a pretty Bed and Breakfast in Bradford – but that’s a little out of your way, but it’s very reasonable. And there’s a farm (fahm) down the hill where you can get fresh Maine blueberries, of course, but that’s only in the summer -
Stanley Sperrow: Sorry Katie, I didn’t finish the question. From Hartford to Sturbridge, how many Dunkin Donuts along the way?
(Tony buzzes in)
Stanley Sperrow: Tony.
Tony Vallencourt: Fourteen.
Stanley Sperrow: Correct! Bonus point for each drive-thru.
Tony Vallencourt: – Four
Stanley Sperrow: That’s right!
When I moved to Ohio from New England to go to grad school, I quickly learned that I was no longer in DD country. I would see one here or there, but they weren’t the same. They were shabby, sticky, and just too empty.
You can imagine my glee when I heard that they’re building a free-standing Dunkin Donuts in Louisville. (Granted, you can buy the donuts inside certain gas stations, but that’s not the same thing.) I think I’m even more excited about this than I was about the Trader Joe’s opening. It may seem silly, but for a homesick New Englander just knowing that familiar pink and orange shop is right around the corner is a comfort. It’s familiar, and it’s a taste of home.
I have a feeling I won’t be the only New Englander lining up for Munchkins when it opens. I can’t wait.
Filed in: Introspective