What if you learned that Dunkin Donuts is not really a “chain” of restaurants, as you assumed, but a franchise. (Do you know the difference? ) What if you learned Dunkin’ only does business through its franchisees? What if you learned the franchise owners are local people like you and me that realize that some people – maybe not you – like to do business with familiar brands that offer consistent quality. (Or maybe those people just like the nostalgia of getting the same donut their parents used to treat them to when they were 8. What if you learned that the franchise owners use local insurance agents, employ local accountants and bookkeepers, bank at community banks, and use local architects, contractors and sign makers in their buildout? What if you learned these local owners give back to the community by advertising in local high school football programs and providing thousands of baked goods at local charitable events such as the Women’s 4 Miler?
What if you learned that at their grand opening today, the owners asked for donations to a local school for autistic children in exchange for a travel cup that will provide the donor free coffee on Mondays for the next 15 months? Andy and Randi Rod are those owners and they live right here in Albemarle County. A chain? Their only chain so far are two other stores they have dared to open in Ruckerville and Palmyra in the midst of a crummy economy, somehow managing to create jobs for many people in our local economy. Please think again when you “boo-hoo” a small business person doing their best to add back to the grid of our local economy.