Dunkin’ Donuts is planning its grand opening Friday morning.
The store will open at 4 a.m., but the ribbon-cutting with Mayor Christian Price, the city council and Maricopa Chamber of Commerce is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. It will be the first Dunkin’ Donuts in the city.
Owner Alex Apodaca said he’s celebrating his 10th year of owning Dunkin’ stores in the Valley. He’s part of a group of partners that own 39, with 13 in Las Vegas, Nevada, and seven more in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Friday, from 7 to 10 a.m., there will be a variety of activities, and the weekend will also include a live remote with radio station KESZ. Fifty percent of the proceeds will go to F.O.R. Maricopa Food Bank and two other Phoenix-based charities, Changing Lives Center for Women & Children and a teen suicide prevention organization.
There will also be face-painting, mascots and a bike-pinstriping demo.
Rather than selling a franchise at a time, Dunkin’ sells territories, which is how Apodaca and his partners spread so quickly. It came about, he said, when a friend called him a decade ago in California with an idea.
“He said, ‘I think I found a concept to drag you out of San Diego,’” Apodaca said.
At the time, he saw that Dunkin was “coming out West and coming out strong.” It was just before the Great Recession, he said, “and it turned out doughnuts and coffee were the right thing to be in when the recession hit.”
Apodaca said the partnership had been trying for years to come to Maricopa, struggling to find the right real estate. They wanted the property to be on “the morning side of the road” and in an area that was the middle of activity.
The Maricopa store is in the Edison Pointe shopping center on the east side of John Wayne Parkway. Edison Pointe has some stores open and others still under construction. Along with 1,800 square feet of store space it is a drive-thru. Apodaca said 95 percent of his stores have a drive-thru.
He said the store will have baking on site and will also have product brought in from the Valley when necessary volume dictates.
Apodaca said Maricopa is one of those “outlying” cities like Flagstaff that he and his partners enjoy so much. In the culture and in the community, it feels like family.
“They are so receptive to what we’re doing,” he said.
The last item going up for the Dunkin’ Donuts store is usually the first thing – its signage. The store currently has a banner but not its permanent sign. Apodaca said he hopes it is in place by the grand opening.
Other businesses soon to open in the same stand-alone building within the plaza are a nail salon and a Wingstop. The latter received its liquor license this week.