Area to Get Freestanding Dunkin' Doughnuts
By Tom Embrey
For two local businessmen, it's time to make the doughnuts.
Pat Corso and Ken Baer are part of Pinehurst Donuts LLC, which has signed an agreement with Dunkin' Donuts to open a total of four franchises. At least one of those franchises will be in the Pinehurst/Southern Pines area, with the others to be in Sanford and Fayetteville.
One store will open in 2011 and the remainder by 2016.
"We are excited to get going," Corso said in a telephone interview with The Pilot on Monday. "We think it will be a great new brand in the community."
Corso was formerly president of Pinehurst Resort, while Baer was the chief financial officer.
Additionally, Baer is former chairman of the Moore County Board of Education, and Corso is the past chairman of the state Travel and Tourism Board and past member of the North Carolina Economic Development Board.
Corso said the idea to open a Dunkin' Donuts originated after he and Baer spent time working on the Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, N.H.
"There are a lot of folks in the Southern Pines/Pinehurst area, and the only Dunkin' Donuts store is in Fayetteville," Corso said, "so bringing the breakfast chain to this area seemed like a natural.
"We saw what a good product it was and how loyal people are to it. When you buy Dunkin' Donuts coffee you really buy Dunkin' Donuts coffee "
Corso said his group is searching for a location for the store in this year but can't say yet where it will be or when it will open. Corso said he and Baer are working with representatives from Dunkin' Donuts and a broker to find a site that will accommodate store that is busiest between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.
He said an ideal location would be about 1,800 to 2,000 square feet, be on the end of an existing building and have the ability to have a drive-up window.
Together Corso and Baer represent more than 60 years of collective experience in the hospitality industry, including resorts, restaurants, hotels, golf, skiing and spas. They have managed and have been involved in restoring some of America's most respected resorts including Pinehurst Resort and Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods, N.H.
In a press release from the company, Dunkin' Donuts said it was happy with this growth opportunity.
"Dunkin' Donuts is excited to expand its footprint in Fayetteville, Pinehurst/Southern Pines and Sanford with Pinehurst Donuts LLC," said Grant Benson, vice president of franchising and market planning, Dunkin' Brands Inc. "Our secret to success is our passionate franchisees who provide a high-level of customer service to our guests every day, and we're confident Pat and his team will cultivate lasting relationships and become an integral part of the Fayetteville-Pinehurst community."
Dunkin' Donuts, which was founded in 1950, has expanded its offerings to include frozen and iced beverages, a full bakery assortment including bagels and muffins, breakfast sandwiches, and an all-day oven-toasted menu, which includes flatbread sandwiches, hash browns and buttermilk biscuits. The new platform marks the most significant change to Dunkin' Donuts' product lineup since the company launched espresso-based beverages in 2003.
Based in Canton, Mass., Dunkin Donuts has more than 9,000 restaurants in 30 countries worldwide.
Contact Tom Embrey by e-mail at email@example.com.
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