Coffee shops anticipate Dunkin’ Donuts’ arrival


A cup of coffee sits on the counter of Tree City Coffee & Pastry. Photo by Jacob Byk.

Jimmy Miller

Ming-Yen Lee, graduate student of musicology, goes to the Starbucks on Easta Main Street “almost every day.”

“[My friends and I] like Starbucks coffee. It’s better coffee [than other competition] for sure,” she said.

Lee may be a daily customer at Starbucks, but with Dunkin’ Donuts opening up just down the street, she plans to at least give the new coffee and donut company a try.

“Dunkin’ Donuts does have donuts,” Lee said. “But their coffee is not as good.”

When Dunkin’ Donuts opens in the next few weeks, local businesses will compete with the major corporation, including Aunt Mary Ann Donuts Cafe and Starbucks.

“I think competition is a good thing,” Danielle Brickwood, president of Aunt Mary Ann Donuts, said. “It helps ensure customer service is quality.”

Brickwood said both businesses sell breakfast sandwiches, specialized drinks and especially donuts, but Aunt Mary Ann Donuts Cafe on Main Street will have been in the area for 66 years in October. Both companies have locations in Canton, where they have competed against each other already and found success.

“Our grandparents started [the business]. It’s exciting to have something that was started 60-some years ago. That’s what makes me excited […] to have happy people,” Brickwood said. “It sounds cliché, but I really do want everybody to succeed. There’s enough people to go around.”

Although Aunt Mary Ann Donuts Cafe is one of the top donut competitors against Dunkin’ Donuts, coffee shops such as Scribbles Coffee Company, Tree City & Pastry and Starbucks must now try to keep customer interest.

John Richardson, manager of the Starbucks in Kent, said he is “concerned” about the opening of Dunkin’ Donuts but is not worried in the long-term.

“We’ll lose some customers at first, sure,” Richardson said. “Everybody wants to check out the new thing, but [multiple] coffee shops can flourish in a town this size.”

Richardson also said although Dunkin’ Donuts will have drive-thru capabilities, he believes Starbucks has the better strategic location. He credits this statement to the fact that most customers will not have to cross the four lanes of traffic to get to the renowned coffee shop.

He said Starbucks is competitive with other companies because they “put the focus on the customer.”

“Our focus on quality, you can’t top it,” Richardson said. “We create a great experience for customers.”

Contact Jimmy Miller at [email protected].