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May 24, 2013

Dunkin' Donuts, businesses to replace potato chip company

Doughnuts will soon replace potato chips

SALEM — For a century, the aroma of freshly baked potato chips emanated from the white clapboard building that once stood at 227 N. Broadway.

Granite State Potato Chips is gone, the building razed. It’s being replaced by a 5,400-square-foot structure — and the smell of freshly baked doughnuts.

Dunkin’ Donuts is expected to open around July 4 and three other businesses would lease space there, according to site supervisor Matt Breault of KDB Enterprise. The shop is one of several Dunkin’ Donuts franchises owned by local businessman Anthony Quadros.

The project received site plan approval from the town Planning Board in March 2012, and was granted a variance by the Zoning Board of Adjustment a year earlier, town planning director Ross Moldoff said.

Work at the site began in January, Breault said. Yesterday, approximately 15 workers were busy getting the building ready, which included putting up siding, he said.

“We will work up to the last day,” Breault said.

Dunkin’ Donuts will occupy 2,000 square feet on the first floor, with approximately 1,500 square feet of adjacent space available for retail, Breault said. There are two units on the second floor — each about 1,000 square feet — available as office space, he said.

But regardless of the businesses that move there, the North Broadway site will probably always be best known as the former location of Granite State Potato Chips.

It was an institution in Salem until closing in 2007 after 102 years, but the company’s sign still stands on the property.

Granite State Potato Chips was so popular that many people stop by to check out the construction and reminisce, Breault said.

Breault, whose company is based in Dracut, said he wasn’t familiar with the potato chip business until he began working there.

“No, but everyone else is,” he said.

The company, founded by William J. Croft and owned and operated by several generations of his family, earned a glowing reputation for its freshly baked chips. They were sold in white plastic buckets with the profile of the Old Man of the Mountain part of its widely recognized logo.

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