Let’s face it: everyone loves coffee and (particularly) donuts. So why not celebrate the opening of a new coffee shop in downtown Wilmington?
That was certainly the view of the throngs who came out to cheer on the arrival of the grandaddy of them all, the newly branded “Dunkin,” which opened its doors today at 701 Market Street, complete with Mayorial ribbon cutting, prizes, charity donations and, naturally, 99 cent coffee all day long.
Dunkin’ joins a robust lineup of coffee titans on Market Street that includes legendary local favorites LOMA Coffee and Brew Ha Ha, and Starbucks literally right next door.
This is the first retail Dunkin’ to open in the city other than three which serve limited audiences in downtown office buildings (Carvel, Hercules Plaza, Court House). The new Dunkin’ is located in a refurbished historic building at Seventh and Market streets and is owned by Bhupen and Falguni Patel of Chadds Ford, who also own eight other Dunkin’s in Pennsylvania.
“There has been a void for Dunkin’ Donuts in this area, and we have been waiting for an opportunity in downtown Wilmington long time,” said Bhupen Patel. “We believe that Wilmington is on the rise. The city or expecting 5,000 more residents in the city in the next year. So when we got this opportunity we decided to take it.”
The new Dunkin’ will be open seven days a week and will also offer free WiFi.
Patel says the space, which is caddie corner from Bardea, was vacant for the last seven years but prior to that was a shoe store. Dunkin’ representatives at the ribbon cutting said that because of the historic nature of the building, approvals for the signage were slow. So slow that the original sign erected on the facility said Dunkin Donuts, which the owner recently decided to replace with Dunkin’ to be consistent with the newest branding by the company.
In their first philanthropic gesture, the Patels generously donated $1,000 today to the Wilmington Library, which is located on Market Street at Rodney Square. They also had raffle drawings for an iPad and a new bike. “The city held an event about a month ago bringing lots of the business and nonprofit leaders together, and that’s when I met the Patels,” said Jamar Rahming, executive director of Wilmington Public Library. “Their generosity today is really amazing,” he said.
When TSD asked what the Library might do with the $1,000, Rahming said, “Food keeps people happy. We will probably use this money to regularly buy donuts for the staff!”
Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki said, “This means a lot that they’re investing in the city. And even though there’s a Starbucks right next door, there’s room for everyone. There are some folks who are crazy about coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts,” he said.