Senior Vice President of Marketing for GPM Investments Bill Reilly, Town of Erwin Mayor Doris Hensley, Owner and CEO of GPM Investments Arie Kotler, and Director of Dunkin’ Franchise Development Sharon Trow cut the ribbon to welcome Dunkin’ to Erwin. (Erwin Record Staff Photo by Richard Rourk)

By Richard Rourk

Several customers braved the frigid temperatures to camp out overnight for the grand opening of Dunkin’ in Erwin on Thursday, Nov. 29. The first 10 customers received free coffee for a year and the first 50 customers received free Dunkin’ Gift Bags.

From the time the doors opened to around 11 a.m. the drive thru line remained out to Jonesborough Road. The brand new Next Generation Concept Store remained packed with customers coming, going and running on Dunkin’.

One of the features of the Next Generation Concept Store is the use of an innovative tap system to dispense Dunkin’s line of cold drinks. Everything from tea to cold brew coffee and nitro infused cold brew coffee are served from the tap system. Erwin is now home to only the second Next Generation Concept Store in the state of Tennessee.

The store itself serves as a gift shop with one-of-a-kind local and traditional Dunkin’ merchandise. Coffee mugs and various types of coffee for homebrew are available for purchase. The countertop displays are lined with delicious treats, including donuts, bagels and muffins for the customer to pick out.

On hand to celebrate the grand opening last week was owner and CEO of GPM Investments Arie Kotler, Senior Vice President of Marketing for GPM Investments Bill Reilly, and GPM Investments Director of Franchise Relations & Development Sharon Trow.

“It came out nice, we love Erwin,” Kotler said of the finished product and the support from the town.

Welcoming the franchise to the Town of Erwin was Mayor Doris Hensley, Alderman Gary Chandler, City Recorder Glenn Rosenoff, Communications Director Jamie Rice, Building Inspector Brian Tapp and Bill Hensley.

“We are excited,” Mayor Hensley said of the Next Generation store. “We have waited for something like this for years.”

Also welcoming customers to the grand opening were East Tennessee State University mascot “Bucky” and Dunkin’s mascots “Cuppy” and “Sprinkles.”

Dunkin’s lobby, which is located at 517 Jonesborough Road in Erwin, is open 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The drive thru is open 24 hours a day. Dunkin’ will be closed on Christmas. 

Dunkin’ is currently hiring. If you are interested in joining the Dunkin’ team, please visit tridonuts.com. The keyword is “donuts” and there are several categories open for applications.