Dunkin' Donuts plans to continue its expansion in the Chattanooga area with the building of a bakery in Catoosa County, Ga., as a franchisee looks at more than doubling its number of stores.
Construction of the 28,000-square-foot bakery is expected to start soon on a tract at Rollins Business Center with plans to open around November, said Dave Baumgartner, managing partner and president of area franchisee Bluemont Group.
He said the bakery is slated to cost nearly $3 million and employ about 40 people. Doughnuts will be made at night and delivered by 4 a.m. each day to every store, Baumgartner said.
"It will be just as fresh as it has ever been," he said, noting that doughnuts currently are baked in each store.
Bluemont currently has about 24 stores in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Fort Oglethorpe, Murfreesboro and other nearby markets, he said. Plans are to have 60 stores in about three years, Baumgartner said.
He said the bakery, designed by Method Architecture and built by Sexton Construction Corp., will be constructed to handle that number of stores, the businessman said.
Katie Sponberger, the Catoosa County Economic Development Authority's economic development coordinator, said nearly 10 acres was purchased last year to try to attract a prospect for the privately held industrial park off Georgia Highway 151.
"We've done that," she said about Bluemont Group. "We've been excited to work with them."
Baumgartner said Dunkin' Donuts is seen as a coffee chain these days, selling much more in beverages than doughnuts.
The bakery will permit the company to become more efficient in doughnut production, he said. Current employees will be offered jobs at the bakery and in other positions, Baumgartner said.
Bluemont opened its first store in Chattanooga in November 2009. Nationwide, Dunkin' Donuts today is one of the top eight restaurant chains worldwide, he said.
Sponberger said there's still some vacant land left in Rollins Business Center, though a lot of it lies in a flood plain. Currently, there are 16 businesses in the industrial park, she said.
The site was originally a 400-acre dairy farm, Sponberger said. O. Wayne Rollins, a Ringgold, Ga., native, bought the pest control business Orkin in the 1960s and helped build it into one of the top companies in the sector.
In 1988, Sponberger said, Rollins developed the Catoosa County industrial park.
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