In Search of Dunkies

I like my Dunkin' Donuts coffee every morning, sometimes in the afternoon, always on an evening road trip (but, to quote Steve Martin, never at dusk). I'm not a coffee snob; I like iced black Dunkies coffee. This poses something of a problem on road trips, in that the Dunkies density varies in direct proportion to your distance from Randolph, Massachusetts (the hallowed home of Dunkin Donuts corporate and the mystical Donut University). As you drive up and to the right on your United States map, you run into a lot of Dunkin' Donuts shops; go west of Chicago and you're out of luck.

When coffee consumption borders on addiction, and brand preference borders on a (mental) health issue, you get good at finding your Dunkies. Island of Aruba - five Dunkin' Donuts shops. Route 1A in the Fort Lauderdale environs - good to go. I-95 in northern Maryland only has one within a 5-minute detour of the highway. Yes, I spend a lot of time preparing for a trip by checking out dunkindonuts.com and planning my coffee breaks. West of Chicago, no luck. O'Hare Airport is the western frontier of the pink and orange logo.

This week's trip to Boston was nirvana. My flight from Newark deposited me at Logan airport on time, and despite forgetting that the Mass Pike does not have an Back Bay exit when you're headed westbound, I managed to find a parking place, my meeting location, and a brand-new Dunkin' Donuts all within 2 blocks. In celebration of their customers, the new shop was giving out free small coffees, discounted sweetened coffee drinks, and had a body puppet coffee cup dancing around on Stuart Street. I also checked out the shop in Woburn (on my way to a meeting outside the 495 beltway), and one in Terminal C at Logan Airport.

Is there a point, you ask? Several, actually.

  • When in doubt, ask people who are likely to drink a lot of coffee. Parking lot attendants, security guards, and police officers know their Dunkies. What you learned in Kindergarten is true; these people are the coffee drinker's friends in strange cities.
  • Dunkies fans are part of a far-flung but quiet community. Our coffee is simple, and amazingly consistent. You have something in common with that person in front of you in line.
  • When without, improvise. Carry coffee filters and the small 2-serving vacuum packs of Dunkin Donuts grounds with you, and you have your personal Dunkies valet in any hotel room.

    How does Dunkin' Donuts introduce new, competitive products at reasonable prices? Supply chain management. Sprinkles optimization (no, I'm not kidding). Running effective trucking routes so that stores get frozen muffins in the proper cadence. There is no great IT without coffee; there is no great coffee without IT.

  • Comments:

    [Trackback] I don't want this entry to be another 'Back up North ...', so I'll only mention Hal Stern's post on his Planet Sun bog, Hal Stern: In Search of Dunkies, and the fact that the only Dunkin Donuts location I've found around Raleigh which sells the whole...

    Posted by chattr +a -V on June 22, 2005 at 08:10 PM EDT #

    You should come to the Burlington campus more. By my last count, we have 5 dunkin donuts in the town of Burlington... with one additional scheduled to be added. Nothing like their coffee. I just got back from the west coast MPK offices and while I enjoy a nice strong Starbucks or Pete's iced coffee, there is nothing like my french vanilla iced coffee from dunkin!

    Posted by DiTucci on June 23, 2005 at 04:11 PM EDT #

    I am a soldier on FOB Courage in Iraq. Being from the midwest myself I don't have the intense love of D&D that my boss from the Northeast has. Although I have had the pleasure of D&D coffee and can honestly say I was impressed. There is no selection of coffee here and right now our only choice is DeFac Tar or the limited supply of Starbucks. Can somebody aid us in this desperate time of need, before my boss and I are reduced to MRE packages of instant Maxwell House?

    Posted by NO D&D on FOB's on August 28, 2005 at 10:03 PM EDT #

    hi, i need your help in doing a survey regarding blogging for my Master's thesis. Would it be alright for you to provide me your email so i could send it to you? Your help would greatly aid me in my work. Thank You

    Posted by michelle on December 12, 2005 at 03:10 PM EST #

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