Dunkin' Donuts Marine base marks California return

Thu May 10, 2012 4:19pm EDT
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By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) - Dunkin' Donuts is back in California after a decade-long absence, with a new cafe at a U.S. Marine base near San Diego, but the general public will have to wait.

The reception has been warm at Camp Pendleton, one of 26 military bases in the Dunkin' Brands Inc unit's network as it targets such outposts, which have relatively few dining options.

"I tried to go on opening day but the line was too long," Staff Sgt. Luis Agostini, a New Yorker who counts Dunkin' Donuts among his favorite coffee chains, told Reuters on Thursday.

He hasn't yet visited the shop since it opened last week, but said he was waiting on a colleague who had been dispatched to pick up coffee and doughnuts.

Access to the cafe is limited to individuals who are allowed on base - including active and retired military members and their families, civilian personnel and approved visitors.

Some 100,000 people are on base during peak hours, a Marine spokesman said.

Other companies already operating on the grounds of Camp Pendleton include Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, McDonald's Corp, Subway, Domino's Pizza Inc and Yum Brands Inc's Taco Bell and Pizza Hut chains.

Starbucks Corp is not there - at least not yet. But its presence in military bases could grow more quickly with the recent appointment of former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to the Seattle-based company's board of directors.   Continued...