Dunkin' Donuts Goes Public

fromWBUR

The Massachusetts-based Dunkin Donuts chain goes public Wednesday, trying to become a national cult brand.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

NPR's business news starts with an IPO for Dunkin' Donuts.

(Soundbite of music)

INSKEEP: All right, Dunkin' Donuts goes public today, part of the chain's plan to sell more donuts and coffee in more parts of the country.

Curt Nickisch has more from member station WBUR in Boston.

CURT NICKISCH: Dunkin' Donuts stores in New York City and Boston are as common as bad drivers here.

Mr. DARREN TRISTANO (Executive Vice President, Technomic): They serve a very good quality coffee in a very unpretentious way.

NICKISCH: That's consultant Darren Tristano from the firm Technomic. He says people think of Dunkin' as a donut chain, but it actually makes most of its money selling coffee and other drinks. That means Seattle-based Starbucks is Dunkin's main competitor.

Mr. JOE FINE: I don't like Starbucks.

NICKISCH: That's loyal Dunkin' customer Joe Fine, sipping coffee at a of the donut shops in Boston. No wifi in the place, no hip music, either, but Fine doesn't care.

Mr. FINE: Doesn't have a lot of atmosphere, but I normally don't sit in one. I normally get it to go.

NICKISCH: Dunkin' wants to take its basic, blue-collar style to more parts of the country. Just listen to its TV commercials.

(Soundbite of Dunkin' Donuts commercial)

Unidentified Announcer: Anyone can be a hero with a new Captain America Cherry Coolata from Dunkin'. Get yours for a limited time only. America runs on Dunkin'.

NICKISCH: Well, not yet. Right now, Dunkin' has just one store for every million people in the Western part of U.S. But with the money from its IPO, Dunkin' plans to invest more in marketing and new franchises.

For NPR News, I'm Curt Nickisch, in Boston.

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