The Exploration of Unemployment The Exploration of Unemployment: Let's Open a Dunkin' Donuts in SoCal Shannon Robb

I’ve been thinking a lot about other things that I would like to do with my life. Why, you ask? Because I’m unemployed. Yup, I went to law school and I took the bar and I’m waiting for my results… and no one wants to hire me yet. Seriously, not even Trader Joe’s. It’s a really great feeling, sitting and waiting and feeling unproductive. But, it has got me thinking about other things I could do if I had the money (I obviously have the time). I have a feeling that some of you out there can understand the wistfulness in my soul. Many of you may be unemployed, underemployed or just really freaking hate your current jobs. Some of these ideas are practical, some ideas are just plain fun and some are filled with whimsy. As Jack Donaghy said himself, “There are no bad ideas, Lemon, only great ideas that go horribly wrong.” So, hold on to your hats because here we go…

My first idea: Open up a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise in Southern California.

I know what you Californians are all thinking: Dunkin’ Donuts is already here on Camp Pendleton. But, you guys, we all know what a ruse that is. Sure, you don’t need a military ID to get on base, but it’s far away, and you still need 3 items to get to DD (and then there are even further restrictions). Sure, I’m glad our men and women in uniform get to experience these delicious brews, but we need more expansion! Plus, let’s be honest, I’m really talking about within the city borders of LA and SD.

I know, it doesn’t seem like much. It doesn’t seem like a big, life goal to aspire to, but hear me out.  I spent some time in San Diego last year while finishing up law school and aside for the major life/cultural differences from the Northeast, the thing I was most shocked by was the fact that Dunkin’ doesn’t seem to exist in that otherworldly place known as California.  I mean, I knew somewhere back in my brain that DD doesn’t reside in California’s borders, but I didn’t really think about it. And then my craving hit: the craving for a nice hot coconut coffee with cream. Deeelish. And so out of reach.

You see, I’ve lived in NY my whole life and went to law school in Boston (the mecca of DD). And my school in Boston was directly across the street from Dunkin’ Donuts (and Starbucks, but who’s keeping score). There was also a DD ONE BLOCK AWAY. And one block away from my apartment, and in the same building as my internship, and one block south from school, and one block north from school…you get the picture.

Needless to say it was more than a slap in the face when I got out to California. Beautiful, sunny, perfect jean weather California and remembered that DD does not exist out there. WHICH IS MINDBOGGLING for many reasons.

The first of which: the amount of East Coast transplants setting up roots (especially  in Hollywood).

The second: Dunkin’ Donuts is FREAKING EVERYWHERE ELSE

And the third: I would still get to see taunting, teasing, frequently aired commercials advertising a delicious beverage that I was no longer privvy to. I could still buy the bagged coffee from the Ralphs, but it’s just not the same.

As someone who moved to Boston and became a fanatic convert, I could see no other way to live.  I was so used to getting off the T, stopping in at DD and grabbing some coffee and heading across the street and into class. My studies were literally fueled by Dunkin’ Donuts, like in those annoying commercials: I ran on Dunkin’. (I will also mention that the only caffeine remotely close to the school I was attending in SD was 7-11. Ha! Or a coffee cart on campus which was worse than hospital coffee. I’ll repeat: worse than hospital coffee).

So, since I’m back East now and back in the DD fold, I can’t help but wonder what a great opportunity might be available. I don’t understand why the franchise doesn’t exist in California (outside of Camp Pendleton), and my research basically only included asking people that grew up there, so I may be way off base. I was also told not to mess with The Coffee Bean, and I’ll be honest, I never went there, but I feel like Californians are missing out on something great.

As an East Coaster aware of other East Coasters in California, DD has to be in heavily populated areas where East Coasters are likely to be- I’m thinking around any major studio. Areas of focus should also include: near law school campuses, near college campuses, Or you know, near anyone who has traveled anywhere else where DD is and has become accustomed to it. I mean, LA has that delicious Dole Whip stand that I’m pretty sure has only one other location: Disney World. How can they not have DD? How can someone not have come up with this plan yet?

Okay, so is anybody with me? Let’s do this thing. We’ll be raking in the moola before you know it (or once one franchise is up, running and successful, but who wants to think about that?). I know a lot of Angelenos and San Diegans that would be so, so pleased. And so full of delicious hot beverage.

 Image via HometownMeal

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  1. Now I want DD. Also, I’m an underemployed East Coaster with hopes of moving to San Francisco, so I say: DD for everyone! If the New York Giants can be sponsored by Dunkin surely the San Francisco Giants should, too!

  2. Brilliant. I was depressed that there were no Dunkin’ Donuts in LA when I transplanted there for a few months, especially since DD is a lot more forgiving to a student budget compared to Starbucks or the Coffee Bean.

  3. It’s true…being unemployed gives a person so many ideas that I know would probably be successful. I honestly get the same idea every day when I’m sitting around drinking my first cup of coffee. I don’t know, maybe there is one already, but I’ve always said that I wanted to open up the first coffee franchise store on a reservation. We Natives LOVE our coffee. I always think,”It’s genius, and why has no one thought of this?!?” It is a great idea! I think. I mean, coffee is what gets people going every day. People’s well-being depends on good coffee…and I wanna be there for people!

    I’m with you! Everyone deserves good coffee. Coffee for everyone! =)

    P.S. If we happen to luck out, I’ll meet with you at Dunkin’ Donuts Convention 2013 so we can celebrate and maybe team up on a Slideshow Presentation so we can share our success stories and talk about the days we were unemployed and had a crazy dream and how it all came true…because of Dunkin’ Donuts…and a HelloGiggles article. It’s genius!

  4. Genius. I’ve been thinking about this for over 10 years, since I moved to SoCal. My only assumption as to why it’s not here is that it’s quick in and out service–for people on the go–isn’t really geared toward the lax attitude toward coffee houses, where people sit and drink for an hour, that people around here are used to. That said, as you alluded to in your post, if you do this around a college campus or such…GENIUS!!

  5. As a fellow unemployee and east coaster wanting to move to LA, I approve your master plan.