There are certain places that one coast or the other has been envious. Most people in the Midwest have wished that In-n-Out Burger would come to their area, while people on the West Coast who have ever been back East have wished that Dunkin’ Donuts would open up in the West. Well, those wishes are off the table now for lucky Orange County residents as Dunkin’ Donuts opened one of the first West Coast outlets of the popular chain right in south Orange County. No longer will OC residents have to suffer watching the national Dunkin’ Donuts commercials, knowing that they can’t get a cup of Dunkin’s popular coffee or taste some of their heavenly donuts. Of course, people on the West Coast have been able to buy Dunkin’ Donuts coffee beans and ground coffee in the markets here for years, but up to now you’ve had to brew it yourself, instead of stepping inside the store or driving past the convenient drive-thru window.
The Examiner talked this morning with Steen Sellers, General Manager of the brand new Dunkin’ Donuts store in Laguna Hills, right at the border of Mission Viejo,. Steen is happy that they’ve finally brought Dunkin’ Donuts to California. “We’re the first Dunkin’ Donuts in Orange County, absolutely! I think it’s about time, first of all, I think it’s an amazing opportunity for California to see what Dunkin’s all about. It’s a great brand, certainly all of our transplants and people who travel consistently love the brand and are embracing it. Our business is the busiest opening they’ve seen in California yet and the busiest one west of the Rockies, so far everybody in the office from Dunkin’ Brands is extremely happy with our opening”, Steen said.
As they claim, the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee was very good, with plenty of flavor but not the bitterness of a lot of the coffee out there these days (including you-know-who). The jelly donuts was a perfect example of what the popular donut should be and the chocolate sprinkles donut full of flavor and crunchy multi-colored candy sprinkles. Everything was nice and fresh, including the smiles on the faces of the staff. Behind them, row upon row of glazed and unglazed goodiesmade for an impressive display of Dunkin’ product.
It has taken Dunkin’ Donuts quite a while to show up out here. As Steen noted, “People in this community are really embracing it, as it should be—what a great product!” Steen talked about why it has taken Dunkin’ so long to move into California, saying, “It takes a lot to get the product here consistently and they wanted to make sure they could consistently deliver the product and live up to the guest’s expectations. I want to make sure—-and I’ve been in the business for 30 years—if you can’t get your product consistent you’re not going to be happy, and I don’t want to shame the brand. I want to make sure that when I see that cup of coffee in your hand, you’re saying ‘Ah, that’s my Dunkin’, and if it’s not your Dunkin’, then we haven’t done our job right. That’s always how the brand’s operated”.
For those in Orange County and California who haven’t been east of the Rockies to enjoy Dunkin’ Donut’s coffee and donuts, Steeen had this quick primer on what Dunkin’ is. He said, “Dunkin’, unlike any other place around, when you come in, you get your coffee they way you want your coffee. The way you want your coffee is the way you’re going to get it. We use the highest quality, best cream and we sugar and cream the coffee so you’re not huddled around a little stand, wondering whether that cream is still good or not. Our cream is cold and fresh. You can have cream, you can have milk, skim milk or sugar. There’s literally thousands of ways you can do it. French milk swirls, add an essence of blueberry to your dark roast, so you can create it any way you want and you’re not relegated to one menu”.
Steen continued, “It’s only your imagination, plus we sold over a billion cups of coffee last year. That says something about the brand and the quality. People are going to embrace us as they get to know us. Yes, we’re going to be known for our donuts first because, hey we’re Dunkin’ Donuts, right? It’s in the name, but we were dunking the donuts in something and it’s the coffee is what took off and the coffee is now our mainstay product. People come and say wow because of the product and they say wow again because of the price. It’s not five dollars for a latte and it’s a better cup of coffee than anywhere else you’re going to get one. We want to let you know that this is your Dunkin’ and welcome home!”.
Certainly, Dunkin’ Donuts is off to a popular start in Orange County, as seen by the line at 6am this Saturday morning. With not only coffee and donuts but also a complete line of fresh made bakery sandwiches and several breakfast offerings, there is certainly something at Dunkin’ Donuts for everyone. Only time will tell, but the staff at Dunkin’ Donuts has a great attitude and many who have been craving a Dunkin’ Donuts on the West Coast can rest easy now, they don’t have to envy the East Coasters. And for those on the East Coast, they can still envy us, because In-n-Out Burger’s not going East!
25242 McIntyre Street
Laguna Hills, CA 92653