The Story Behind the Actual Dunkin’ Donut and Why It Was Retired
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
When Dunkin' Donuts opened its first shop in Quincy Massachusetts in 1950, it was a traditional coffee shop with a counter and stools. Wait staff would be behind the counter pouring fresh coffee into cups and serving their signature donuts. One of those donuts was named the Dunkin' Donut and had and small nub on it that you could hold to dunk in your coffee. But whatever happened to the Dunkin' Donut?
When Dunkin' Donuts came to South Paris in 1986, it was the local hangout for high school kids like me. Back then, Dunkin's still had the traditional coffee shop design with counters and stools and the donuts were made right in the store. It was a time when people weren't as on the go as they are today.
I often ordered the Dunkin' Donut with the handle, even though I didn't drink coffee and certainly didn't dunk my donut. I have a thing about food touching. I'm weird, I know. I just thought it was cool because it had a handle.
As times changed, Dunkin' changed with them. More people were getting their coffee to go. It's a lot harder to dunk a donut in a carryout cup than a wide-mouth traditional coffee cup you'd get at the counter. Eventually, the counters were removed and staff now just took your order and you'd take it to sit down or head out the door. The days of the Dunkin' Donut were numbered and in 2003 they were discontinued. Why?
According to BrandEating.com, the Dunkin' Donut with the handle had to be cut by hand, and Dunkin' was now using a machine to cut their donuts. So the Dunkin' Donut lost the handle and became the old-fashioned donut that you see today.
There's still one place in the world you can get a Dunkin' Donut with a handle: Singapore. Their stores sell it in three varieties. Glazed, sugar raised and cinnamon, but no old-fashioned to be found.
People may not be as apt to dunk their donuts today, but the Dunkin' Donut is still a piece of history that is still reflected in the Dunkin' name.
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