Alexander Pyles//August 27, 2012
//August 27, 2012
But, while in the area, two caffeine-addicted friends and I thought it would be a waste if we didn’t visit the very first Dunkin’ Donuts, founded in 1950 about 30 miles south of Beantown in Quincy, Mass.
We went in determined to walk out with a new, souvenir coffee mug.
We came out with the same Styrofoam cup of black coffee we’ve bought at every Dunkin’ Donuts in Baltimore.
It wasn’t because we had a change of heart.
Pull on the doors of any Dunkin’ and the shop is often pedaling locally-branded coffee mugs. Early Saturday morning, a shop we stopped at just outside Hartford, Conn., certainly was.
But in Quincy? Nada.
Maybe it was a nod to the coffee and doughnut chain’s working class mantra — busy Americans runnin’ on Dunkin’ don’t have time for souvenirs.
But I couldn’t help but think it was a missed revenue opportunity for the Quincy shop, which was pretty quiet at about 1 p.m. Sunday as a few tourists stood outside taking photos.
The modest store — with only an exterior sign and a narrow display on a back wall denoting its historic importance to coffee drinkers nationwide — was especially surprising when compared to the Starbucks museum/gift shop/coffee store (in that order) at its original location in Seattle.
T-shirts, special-roasted bags of coffee and a live band made the Starbucks at the Pike Place Fish Market more of a tourist attraction than a functional cafe. Last summer, I stood in line for more than a half hour before ordering a venti Pike Place Roast to wake me up before a Seattle Mariners game.
Sunday, at Dunkin’ Donuts, I walked right up to the counter and ordered a medium black coffee and vanilla-frosted doughnut. Transaction time, from start to finish: Less than two minutes. Transaction total: Less than $3.
Normally, I’d applaud such service. And I have to admit, it was fairly refreshing to walk into the original location of the coffee chain and find a simple shop instead of a shrine.
But, man, I was really looking forward to getting a new coffee mug.l