Dunkin’ delays entry in Duluth

Dunkin’ Donuts is making a big push to re-enter the Minnesota market, but not in the Twin Cities.

The doughnut franchise opened a store last year in Rochester and plans were announced for several stores in northern Minnesota, but its fans will have to wait longer than expected,the Duluth News Tribune reports today.

Franchise owner Brian Weidendorf says the first store won’t up until summer or, perhaps, fall. It had been expected to open within a few months.

Weidendorf, a developer based in Hinckley with more than 30 years of experience in real estate, and his wife, Sharon, bought the multistore Dunkin’ Donuts franchise for the Northland last year. The agreement calls for them to open at least seven stores in Northeastern Minnesota within five years. He planned to open the first store in Duluth this spring in a remodeled existing building. But those plans changed to rebuilding the 1955 structure.

Weidendorf planned to follow the Duluth store with a brand-new store on South Tower Avenue in Superior and then open stores in cities around the region such as Hibbing, Brainerd and Grand Rapids.

“It’ll be a lot more,” he told the News Tribune in July. “It could be 20 stores in the next five years.”

He expected the second round of openings would include more stores in the Twin Ports.

Nothing for the Twin Cities, however. The company has been advertising for franchise owners but, so far, no takers.