Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Donut Wars

I was in Leominster today, picking up some chocolate equipment, and seized the opportunity to visit Dippin' Donuts. Not because of anything inherently good about their donuts, or their blueberry muffins, but because Dippin' Donuts is all about giving the finger to the Man. According to my friend Hillary.

Hillary (who has family ties to the Birthplace of Plastics) told me long ago that two brothers opened up a donut shop in Leominster. In time, they came to disagree about the future of the business. One sought to expand and create a national chain...and Dunkin Donuts was it. The other wasn't interested in a franchised empire, and stayed right where he was...Dippin'.

Apocrypha? Maybe. But there is no doubt that Dippin' Donuts is giving a hearty "f@#$ you" to Dunkin. The font on their sign is conspicuously similar, the color scheme the same, and the signs on the donut racks more or less identical. Moreover, the selection of donuts is a page right out of DD's three ring binder. Conspicuously absent: the "NO TIPPING" sign seen increasingly at Dunkies. And my favorite thing of all--in response to DD's Milky Way Hot Chocolate--was the handmade sign on the front door extolling their Almond Joy Hot Chocolate. These guys don't miss a trick. Coincidentally(?), Almond Joy is licensed to the Hershey Company, while Milky Way belongs to their archrival Mars.

Dippin's donuts are pretty much what you expect from Dunkin'. Which is a step up; in my experience when you get a donut at Dunkin' Donuts it actually turns out to be significantly worse than you expected. Here's to Dippin', and the legend of a small business shamelessly ripping off a shameless national franchise.

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Aaron Kagan said...

Dippin', stickin', and tippin'.

Are you a Verna's fan?

Brendan said...

I was sad to see the Verna's that decorated cakes was, for better or worse, the only place in the city to find certain pastry and confection tools. But I've never walked the twenty feet to the left and gone into the donut shop. Though I think Dippin has filled my annual donut quota (one and a half donuts).

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