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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, March 17, 2001

O'ahu Dunkin' Donuts shop sets franchise record

By Andrew Gomes
Advertiser Staff Writer

Doughnut-desperate Hawai'i consumers have helped a little shop in Pearl City attain one of the biggest achievements in the world's largest doughnut franchise.

During the first week of business in January, Ken Iong's Dunkin' Donuts shattered the opening-week sales record for 5,000 franchises in the company's 51-year history, according to the Randolph, Mass.-based chain.

One of the chain's largest outlets, a store in Athens, Greece, with seating capacity of 200, held the old record of $40,000 in first-week sales. The Pearl City store, with a seating capacity of 32 eclipsed that by 20 percent.

On opening day Jan. 13, more than 50 hungry doughnutphiles were waiting outside the Pearl City Dunkin' Donuts before it opened at 6 a.m. By 9 a.m., customers, who favored Boston Creme, had snapped up more than 300 dozen doughnuts. Long lines of people had to wait for the next batch to arrive from the store's Iwilei bakery.

Iong sold more than 20,000 doughnuts that day. "It far exceeded our expectations" he said.

The chain initially came to Hawai'i in 1966 through a franchise with the owner of Foodland Super Market Ltd., but was sold in 1970. Subsequent operators had trouble sustaining the brand, and by 1976 the franchise was down to one location at Ala Moana Center. That store closed in 1995.

Iong, who is president of Honolulu foods wholesaler Sushi Chef and operates Catch Of The Day Sushi restaurants, plans to open 10 Dunkin' Donuts stores in Hawai'i within three years. The second shop is scheduled to open early next month on Kapi'olani Boulevard across from the Hawai'i Convention Center.

Andrew Gomes can be reached by phone at 525-8065, or by e-mail at agomes@honoluluadvertiser.com.