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Dunkin’ Donuts opens first Southern California shop in Santa Monica

Dunkin Donuts shop opens in Santa Monica
Dunkin’ Donuts opened its first traditional store in the Southland in Santa Monica on Tuesday.
(C.J. Gunther / EPA)

East Coast staple Dunkin’ Donuts landed in Southern California on Tuesday with the opening of a shop in Santa Monica

The shop, on Wilshire Boulevard, is the coffee-and-doughnut chain’s first traditional outlet in the Southland. It kicks off an aggressive push by the Canton, Mass., company into the Golden State, where it plans to open nearly 200 stores in the next few years.

Paul Twohig, president of Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. and Canada, said Californians had been asking Dunkin Donuts to open in the Los Angeles area for years.

“We’re certain Dunkin’ Donuts will quickly become an integral part of Angelenos’ daily routine,” he said.

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Aside from Santa Monica, the company also plans to open locations soon in Long Beach, Whittier, Downey and Modesto. It already operates what it calls nontraditional locations in Camp Pendleton, the Embassy Suites San Diego Bay Downtown and the Barstow Station railroad-theme stop next to Interstate 15.

The company has dipped its toes into California before. It had about a dozen shops here before pulling out in the late 1990s, and it staged a short-lived comeback in Sacramento in 2002.

The company will be competing in the growing breakfast category with rivals such as Starbucks Corp., Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and McDonald’s Corp. Analysts say the morning segment is the only category with big growth potential as diners increasingly turn to grab-and-go foods.

Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi

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