Dunkin’ Donuts’ Big Texas Push

DUNKIN’ DONUTS’ BIG TEXAS PUSH Franchise group 521 Interests plans to open 16 Dunkin’ Donuts stores in Houston — as part of plans by the nation’s largest bagel retailer to double the number of U.S. locations over the next 20 years. No rush, though: The first new Houston store won’t open until next year; the 15 others should all be open by 2018. Five Dunkin Donuts locations are already open in the Houston area. Also coming to Texas: 9 new franchises in San Antonio, as well as 50 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area over the next 5 years under a limited partnership agreement with the family of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Troy Aikman. [Dunkin’ Donuts] Photo of Bellaire location: Jimmy W.

45 Comment

  • And yet if I still want a donut I’ll go to Shipley’s.

    Dunkin’ made me feel like its was trying to be the Starbucks of donuts. Don’t even get me started on the horror that is Krispy Kreme.

  • Dunkin IS trying to be the Starbucks of donuts. Or rather they are. Out east, they dominate Starbucks in coffee market share.

  • I’m thrilled to see this bit of my youth following me to Texas. Dunkin’ Donuts fueled a lot of late-night study sessions on frigid upstate New York winter nights in my college years.

  • I’m biased because I’m originally from New England, but this is great news. I had been holding my breath since about 2008 when Dunkin’ first announced Houston expansion contingent upon finding a franchise group that would agree to open more than 10 stores in the area. Finally, more options instead of having to succumb to burnt-tasting, overpriced coffee. I know of two Houston-area locations — Bellaire and 1960/I-45 — but where are the other three?

  • And speaking of coffee, Lewis Black did a hilarious bit about the end of the universe being in Houston because of two Starbucks being located across the street from each other: http://comedians.jokes.com/lewis-black/videos/lewis-black—the-end-of-the-universe

  • FINALLY! I no longer have to endure Shipley’s. I understand that lifetime Houstonians are Shipley born, but for some of us who come from the north this is a breath of fresh air….

  • @jefe – They had the franchisees in place. One group was going to open about 85 stores and another one was going to open another 30 or so. That left about another third of the city still to be franchised. When the lending markets collapsed, they put expansion in Houston (and eventually Texas) on hold as the franchises couldn’t get the credit needed to open the individual stores.

    With regards to their other locations, there is one Hobby, one in Copperfield and one in Pasadena. Until recently there was one on Wayside across from Gus Wortham GC, but now it is just a generic donut shop.

  • This is awesome! Dunkin Donuts rules. Their cake donuts are incredible and their coffee tops Starbucks, McDonalds, etc. Best coffee ever!

  • Three years ago DD announced plans for 100+ stores in Houston.

    That was before Starbucks started closing stores.

    And now you have the rest of the story.

  • Shipley’s donuts are horrible …. Dunkin Donuts are great. Thank goodness they are coming to town again. hen I moved here 4 years ago i could not believe people thought Shipley’s Donuts were good. Stale…worst glazed ever and dry as sand cake donuts

  • Jefe, there are three starbucks on that corner. Don’t forget about train table starbucks, over at Barnes.

  • Nothing like getting some donuts that taste like they’ve been sitting there for 3 days. Yuck! I hate Dunkin Donuts and their coffee is way over rated. I’ll take Shipley any day. I miss Krispy Kreme, nothing beat their hot glazed donuts.

  • The rumor is one of the first is opening on Washington “D-Bag” Avenue.

  • I for one am so thrilled that DD is going to branch out in Houston. The coffee is the best and I’m inclined to prefer their donuts to Shipley’s. They have a great variety of breakfast sandwichs also.

  • Carpet baggers.

  • I didn’t cry when Dunkins closed quite a few Houston shops years ago. Shipleys hot out of the oven rock on a Sunday morning. Or any morning for that matter.

  • Don’t yall remember the DD in Bellaire? We’ve had them here before, btw, no one should eat that stuff. It’s all bad!

  • DD reminds me of fat yankee cops.

  • I have tried Dunkin’s before and they are nasty. Nothing beats Shipley’s!

  • Ahhh, that trifecta of white flour, sugar, and boiling fat…

  • Want to know my favorite donut chain? Pappasito’s. Because if you are eating donuts in a city where you could be gorging on breakfast tacos instead, you’re doing breakfast wrong.

  • There is one in Copperfield on Hwy 6. Their coffee is way better than Starbucks.

  • Wasn’t there a Dunkin Donuts on Belfort right before Telephone Rd?

    A co-worker used to stop there every morning on the way into town. That was the late 60s.

    And DrewJ is correct about the one on Wayside at the golf course. I never understood why DD let go of that one. That place was always busy when I’d drive by.

  • In the early 70’s there was a Dunkin at the corner of Uvalde and Holly Park. Now, the busiest Shipleys store is at the corner of Uvalde and I-10. It does the most volume because of the shift workers at the refineries and plants.

  • Why is no one mentioning that this post called them a “bagel retailer.” They might have some bagels in their inventory, but DD is a (much loved by this carpet bagger, too) doughnut chain.

  • I grew up just North of Beaumont. We had DD over there when I was a kid. I was stunned at how bad Shipley’s is when I came to Houston. I finally got my first taste of DD in about 30 years when I went to Seoul, South Korea on business. DD dominates over there. They’re like Starbucks in Houston… right across the street from eachother.

  • I was brought up on Krispy Kreme and they still rule. Their problem when they were here was too little (they didn’t envision the TEXAS size standard) for too much. When I made it to Deer Park, Texas in 1979 I had the choice between Duncan Doughnuts and Shipley’s. Shipley’s won out hands down. Whenever I go up north I am always disappointed that I have to settle for DD.

  • 1. There has never been any reason to succumb to burnt, overpriced coffee unless one preferred it.

    2. The post specifically states “nation’s largest bagel retailer”. Do you know of a larger one? It is obvious that Dunkin Donuts is a donut retailer by the name alone but that doesn’t mean that they’re not a bagel retailer.

  • Houston does not need another donut shop. There’s a new Shipleys on Dairy Ashford near the Terry Hershey Trail in West Houston that bothers me. Why put a donut shop there when it could have been something much more healthier, like a Daily Juice, Jamba Juice or Smoothie King.

  • Because people like donuts.

  • Christopher, maybe because you don’t run the world, and other people get to make choices for themselves?

    Very happy that you don’t run the world, by the way.

  • A person who speaks in “could have been” and “should be” is a dangerous person if they get their way.

    The reason a Shipley’s is there makes perfect sense. A commercial developer put in some commercial retail space. Shipley’s or a franchise owner (don’t know if Shipley’s uses franchises) saw that space and realized that there aren’t any other Shipley’s or donut shops nearby. A light bulb goes off in someone’s head thinking this would be a good location.

    Some lease contracts are signed and what do you know a Shipley’s is built in the space.

    If someone who owned or franchised a health food store and wanted that location, they should have went after it.

    How far from reality do you have to live to think that development could happen by authoritarian rule?

    Although I’m not a Dunkin’ Donut fan, it makes perfect sense for them to push through to Houston (and Texas) now. So many people have relocated from areas where they have them and love them. It just makes perfect sense. It’s like they have a built in fan/customer base.

  • Oh, what a thrill it will be to drive down these grand Houston highways with bright loud Dunkin’ Donuts signs transplanted from Yankeeland now peppering my periphery! It’ll be just like it was back when we were at Dartmouth, honey!

    I’ll take a half-dozen of Shipley’s glazed. And a large coffee. On the double.

  • I grew up on Dunkin Donuts, buy you can have my Shipley’s donuts when you can pry them out of my dead, glazed hands. I’ll still have DD every once in a while, but they’re too heavy for breakfast.

  • To all the Yankees, I am happy you are getting your Dunkin Donuts. However, there is no need to hate on Shipleys. We love Shipleys and it is rude to criticize the local culture.

  • There is former DD prototype on Crosstimber east of Northline that is currently a convenience store. Also, seems like I saw one somewhere else in town that had been converted to a florist. For some reason I get a small thrill when I see an old DD prototype converted for other use.

    Same goes for old Dairy Queens (Hungry’s Bistro for example).

  • I grew up in the Golden Triangle where there were a few Dunkin Donuts, and as a kid, there was nothing better. Unfortunately the glazed and chocolate glazed you get today are nothing like they were in the 90’s. I’ll pass for now, but if someone brings some glazed Munchkins to the office, I won’t complain.

  • If we’re going to get all nostalgic about the DDs in the GT, my dad would always stop at the one on 11th Street in Beaumont whenever we made a family trip Houston on a Saturday morning.

    But the best donuts in SE Texas were at Big B in Orange.

  • Let the Yanks have their (meh) donuts and incredibly overrated coffee. True Houstonians will continue to choose Shipley’s. And the fact that DD openly touts their bagel sales only reinforces the fact that they are catering to a Yankee / carpetbagger crowd. Bagels? Really? Houston is a kolache and taco town.

    Now, if some forward-thinking industrious Yank wanted to bring that gloriously awful, yet irresistible gut-bomb that is White Castle to town, I would have no objection.

  • Have Houstonians ever had bagels? I haven’t found any for sale here, just donuts made of bread labeled “bagels.”

    I love breakfast tacos but still can’t figure out how pigs in a blanket became a breakfast food here, though.

    (Accidentally posted under a different name just above – sorry about that!)

  • John (another one),

    It’s more like pigs-in-a-blanket were developed from Kolaches. Kolaches are a Czech concoction. I was introduced to them when I moved to Houston and loved them ever since. They are starting to make there way in Louisiana too.

    Breakfast tacos and kolaches really are good breakfast foods for on the go and are a little cleaner than a donut.

    There are many good bagel places for when you need a fix, but most are chains such as Einsteins and Panera. Locally, I would guess our Jewish baking population isn’t big enough to really influence the market and regional preferences. Correct me if I’m wrong here. If there is a local authentic bagel, please someone post it.

  • …but still can’t figure out how pigs in a blanket became a breakfast food here…

    If you are refering to kolaches, I think it is due to the German/Czech influence in central Texas.

  • The Hot Bagel shop (2009 South Shepherd)is the freshest, best. Chains (Brueggers, Einsteins) opened and closed within blocks of HB but these guys have survived. The best.

  • I was kidding about the pigs in a blanket; I like kolaches. I wasn’t kidding about the bagels, but it’s not that big a deal; Houston doesn’t have enough of a Jewish or Italian population to be that great at either, and I grew up in a part of the country with huge Jewish and Italian populations. The reverse is true about barbecue and Mexican, of course.

  • @John (another one) – New York Bagel Shop on Hillcroft @ S. Braeswood has the best bagels in the city. And 3 Brothers Bakery on S. Braeswood near Stella Link is a pretty good Jewish (and other stuff) bakery.

    The Jewish community is not huge here, but it is centered in SW Houston where these places are located and have been run by Jewish families for generations. And Kenny and Ziggy’s is maybe not quite as good as what you might find in NYC, but it is a pretty damn good deli.

    As for Dunkin Donuts / Shipleys / and 4bucks, I don’t really understand donuts or expensive coffee. A breakfast taco or kolache is great occasionally. Donuts less so. If I’m going to eat a donut I may as well eat a birthday cake for breakfast.