With the kind of fanfare more appropriate for a coronation than a franchise opportunity, Dunkin' Donuts announces its plans to expand to Southern California today. The Massachusetts-based chain, which once had a short presence in the Golden State but failed to thrive, currently has just one store in Camp Pendleton. The chain says it is "now recruiting multi-unit franchisees" to open locations in L.A., Orange County, Ventura, San Bernadino, and San Diego. Some people are going bonkers at the prospect. But we already have really, really good coffee and doughnuts in California, so why should we care about another chain coming here? We shouldn't.
There's little we can see about this actually mattering to our state. In terms of mediocre, robbery-prone chains to play host to a parade of nocturnal meth-heads and early morning drunks, we already have 7-11, thank you very much.
As for those great doughnuts (and coffee!) that we've got right here in Southern California: We have giant doughnuts you can see from an airplane at Randy's, peanut butter and chocolate doughnuts at Stan's, and ancient, old-school doughnuts at Primo's. We even have a dude named The Donut Man who stuffs real seasonal fruit inside of doughnuts, drawing people all the way to the Glendora boonies in the process.
That's not all. L.A. has Japanese doughnuts at Beard Papa's, red velvet doughnuts at Nickel Diner, chef-driven cruller at Plan Check, and great big sticky bear claws at Du-Par's. We also have churros up the yin-yang and hell, even the vegan doughnuts at BabyCakes and our middling chains like Yum Yum and Spudnuts are pretty good.
Currently, Dunkin' foresees a spread of about 150 stores in the region, with the first expected to open in 2015. So sorry, Boston transplants, that means two more years of Winchell's. And sorry Angelenos, but this probably won't be your spot for a no-foam, 130-degree non-fat latte with a lemon twist. In fact, unless Dunkin Donuts is about to use its corporate strength to bring back Umamicatessen's foie gras doughnut, we hardly see a reason to jump from our seats over the news.