Doughnuts should be dunking before the fireworks start launching.
Rochester's new Dunkin' Donuts, the first to operate in Minnesota since 2005, is prepping for a late June "soft" opening. The return of DD is happening at 15 First Ave. S.W. in the Kahler Grand Hotel complex in the heart of downtown.
"We're in good shape," says Donna Caflisch, who represents Rochester Retail Services. "We're working hard on training now to make sure we're ready with good customer service."
So if you smell doughnuts in downtown during the next few weeks, it probably won't be your imagination. The staff is rolling through lots of training batches.
While Caflisch already has a full team of about 30 employees on staff, she says they still are hiring people that help with DD or other projects. Rochester Retail Services also manages the new Freshens franchise in the Kahler Inn & Suites and is working on a second one in the subway of the Marriott Hotel. That second Freshens could open its doors, if everything goes according to plan, in early August. It's located in the space that last housed the long-time downtown shop, The Crate.
She says the early responses to recent opened Freshens in the Kahler Inn have been very positive.
"People seem to be excited to see some variety in their (downtown) menu choices," said Caflisch.
When asked about speculation that a second Dunkin' is being planned for southeast Rochester, she said she couldn't comment.
While all of the franchises managed by Rochester Retail Services are located in downtown hotels owned by the Kahler Hospitalty Group and the firm offices in the Kahler, Caflisch stressed that there is absolutely no direct connection between any of the owners of the Kahler hotels and the owners of the restaurant franchises. However, she declined to identify who actually owns the franchises.
Rochester's Dunkin' Donuts franchisee, Donuts Non Traditional LLC, incorporated in October 2014. The address it uses is Rochester's Dunlap & Seeger law firm. That's the same address used for Rochester Retail Services, which incorporated in March 2013. It's not unusual for some companies to use their attorneys' address for such filings.