By John Toole
---- — New Hampshire’s appetite for Dunkin’ Donuts seems insatiable.
Pelham and Windham planners next week will review separate projects for the Massachusetts-based company.
Approval would bring the number of Dunkin’ outlets to more than 30 along the Interstate 93 corridor in Southern New Hampshire.
The projects in Pelham and Windham come just months after Salem planners approved the company’s seventh outlet in town.
The restaurants in Pelham and Windham would be the third in each town.
Is this too much of a good thing? Divided opinions on the streets of Derry yesterday indicated it’s worth discussing over coffee.
“You can’t have too many Dunkin’ Donuts, because everybody is always going there,” Brenda Holt of Derry said. “It makes it more convenient.”
Holt admits she sometimes gets her coffee at Cumberland Farms to save a few pennies.
“But Dunkin’ Donuts is great,” she said. “I love their coffee.”
For Christina Sadler of Londonderry, Dunkin’ is a regional institution.
“It’s a popular New England thing,” Sadler said. “Everybody has Dunkin’ in the morning.”
Brothers Trevor and Tyler Guay of Londonderry disagreed over the Dunkin’ explosion.
“I personally love Dunkin’ Donuts,” Trevor Guay said. “I don’t think there can be too many.”
But brother Tyler Guay disagrees.
“I love Dunkin’ Donuts myself, but there are too many. There’s not enough variety in your town,” he said. “I can think of four in a one-mile radius.”
The proposed Dunkin’ Donuts in Pelham would replace a convenience store at 869 Mammoth Road.
The one in Windham would be part of a project at 43 Range Road, which includes retail and office space.
Founded in 1950, Dunkin’ has more than 10,000 restaurants in 31 countries. Sales for last year amounted to nearly $7 billion.
The company has a presence in nine of 12 communities in Southern New Hampshire, with 29 outlets.
“They just opened a new store at 227 North Broadway, where the old Granite State Potato Chip factory was located,” Salem planning director Ross Moldoff said. “They obviously have a very successful business model, as evidenced by all the stores they are building around the region.”
Dunkin’ is proposing a country-style store with dormers in Pelham, planning director Jeff Gowan said.
“The Planning Board held a site walk last Saturday that was very well attended,” Gowan said. “A plan to improve traffic flow by altering the end of Valley Hill Road, where it meets Mammoth, was discussed at the site walk and the Highway Safety Committee will meet to review and provide comment on that concept in advance of the Sept. 5 Planning Board meeting.”
Off-site traffic improvements would be subject to approval from selectmen, should planners OK the overall plan, Gowan said.
“Dunkin’ Donuts is certainly a successful and prolific company,” he said.
Windham community development director Laura Scott said the Windham project would be a new one, with Dunkin’ as one of three tenants, near the intersection of Range Road and Delahunty Drive.
The company’s vision, one of ongoing growth, is outlined on the corporate website that details plans for major expansion throughout the U.S., including Texas and California.
In Southern California alone, plans call for 45 stores.
The company in recent months also announced 19 new stores in Texas and eight for the Rochester, N.Y., area.
In 1980, the company’s slogan was changed to “Dunkin’ Donuts, it’s worth the trip.”
There’s little travel involved today and the current slogan seems more appropriate: “America runs on Dunkin’.”