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The "Dunkin" in Dunkin’ Donuts is supposed to refer to dunking donuts in your coffee, but it always makes me think of the grease they were cooked in. The donuts produced by most large franchises are fried in huge vats of oil heated to very high temperatures, causing the oil to break down after a few days. Instead of changing the oil, a powdered chemical is added to supposedly restore the molecular structure of the oil and remove any hint of rancidity. The same oil may be used for weeks on end.

There's something else you should know about donuts (or doughnuts as the case may be). The fillings for “cream-filled” donuts contain not a trace of cream. They are made from a substance called “heavenly white," which is some sort of vegetable oil spun at high speed until it turns into something resembling white vaseline. The addition of sugar, flavourings and food colouring transform it into various kinds of cream fillings.

Better to order a muffin with your coffee.

Dunkin' Donuts got its start in 1946 when a man by the name of Bill Rosenberg laid down five thousand dollars and founded "Industrial Luncheon Services." ILS was a company specifically catering to factory workers in the outskirts of Boston, Massachusetts, delivering hot meals, coffee, and snacks.

ILS was a tremendous success, but Rosenberg noticed that nearly half (40%) of his revenue was generated by the sales of coffee and donuts. Capitalizing on these item sales, Rosenberg opened "Open Kettle" in 1948 - a shop dedicated to donuts and coffee located in Quincy, MA. Two years later, the name was changed to "Dunkin' Donuts" to more accurately reflect the business.

Within 5 years, and after the opening of the first six Dunkin' Donuts stores, the first franchise agreement was signed and executed in Worcester, MA. By 1963, 100 shops had sprung up, and Robert Rosenberg became President and CEO at the age of 25. 5 years later, Dunkin' Donuts went public.

In 1966, Dunkin' Donuts established "Dunkin' Donuts University", or the DDU, to guarantee product quality and consistency in the form of a 5-week course. The DDU is located in Braintree, MA.

In 1970, Dunkin' Donuts went international, opening up a shop in Japan.

Dunkin' Donuts entered the foray of the Television Commercial in 1978, when their first commercials started hitting the airwaves. It would not be until 1982 when Dunkin' Donuts would make television history with the introduction of Fred the Baker, beginning a series of commercials that would become one of the most successful television ad campaigns in history.

After becoming the largest donut retailer in 1990, Dunkin' Donuts expanded their product line to include bagels in 1996.

Within a year, they became the largest bagel retailer.

There are currently over five thousand Dunkin' Donuts shops all over the world. Bill Rosenberg is now retired, and living in Florida.

Update: Bill Rosenberg passed away on Friday, September 20, 2002 at the age of 86. He died from bladder cancer.

Thanks for everything, Bill. Time to make the donuts.

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