Dunkin’ Donuts done in Montreal
At “Deli Donut” on Wellington in Verdun, the cups still say Dunkin’ Donuts.
There are still traces of the familiar orange and pink branding on the inside.
But from the outside, not much would tip you off to the fact it was the last free-standing Dunkin’ Donuts in Canada.
“Well, I’m sad to see Dunkin’ die out of Montreal,” said Ken Emo, who said he’s frequented the shop for 15 years.
After the last cups and boxes are used, the Dunkin’ name will be gone.
Some patrons have been coming to the Wellington location every day as long as they can remember.
“It’ll take some getting used to that’s for sure,” Emo said.
“At least four or five of us are hanging around every day here, mostly retired people, stuff like that. It’s a meeting place, you know?” said patron Tom Murphy.
Verdun city Coun. Sterling Downey has fond memories of his own.
“Every shift, they would change the donuts so they were always fresh. They would put garbage bags of donuts in the back and as kids, we would rummage through the things and get free donuts. I don’t know how I feel about that as an adult,” Downey said through laughter.
It’s the same situation at the location in Place Versailles.
Along with the one in Beloeil, they were the last three Dunkins in Canada.
The one in Place Versailles will soon be re-branded to “Bistro Flamingo.”
The managers of both the Verdun location and the Place Versailles location both explained over the phone that their franchise agreements had run out and Dunkin’ Donuts did not renew them. No explanation was given.
“I love Dunkin’ Donuts. I love their coffee, it’s my favourite. But what can ya do,” said Emo.
In a statement, Dunkin’ Donuts told Global News: “We can confirm that the three remaining Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in Canada have closed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to our loyal guests. It has been an honor to serve our Canadian guests our brand’s range of high-quality coffees, baked goods and sandwiches.”
There was a time your first instinct was to call donut holes “munchkins,” but what you probably call them now is a good indicator of why the mighty Dunkin’ fell.
“I am guilty, I love Tims,” said Wanda Peel outside a Verdun Tim Hortons a few blocks from the former Dunkin’ Donuts location.
“We like Tim Hortons a lot better. I mean, Dunkin’ Donuts tastes like dishwater,” said Verdun resident Steve Traczyk.
“I drink a lot of Tim Hortons,” admitted Sterling Downey.
WATCH: Battle brewing between Tim Hortons and franchisees
In 2016, Dunkin’ was even ordered by a judge to pay $18 million in damages to some 21 Quebec franchisees for not equipping them to compete with the tide of Tims.
“I think it’s just bad management. Dunkin’ Donuts had a great name and good coffee and they let it fall downhill. Tim Hortons just came right up,” said Emo.
Even though there’s a new name in Verdun, some loyal customers say they’re not going anywhere.
For some, it’s about more than just the donuts and coffee.
“It’s camaraderie, the people here. It gets you out of the house for a couple hours and we all get along. Like Ken said, ‘We all get along,” Emo said.
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