Somerset is sweet on new Dunkin’ Donuts
Somerset County residents flocked to welcome a new Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant to Somerset on Saturday.
The drive thru was seven cars deep at times and the doors hardly closed as people rushed to get their morning coffee and donuts.
“It’s so nice to see this building back to life,” said Somerset County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ron Aldom.
The former Eckerd Pharmacy building at the Somerset turnpike entrance became the home of Dunkin’ Donuts and Goodwill this year, and will soon include a Great Clips hair salon.
“Where it’s situated visually, is a big deal,” Aldom said.
Somerset County Commissioner Gerald Walker said that he’s glad to see the building used now after it sat empty for years.
“For the folks to drive past and see it empty ... It’s a great location and to see it being used shows the community is doing better now,” he said. “I know it’s going to be a good fit.”
Opening his 23rd Dunkin’ Donuts location in Somerset was the dream of Co-owner Nash Patel and his brother, who passed away last month.
Patel had tears in his eyes as he cut the ribbon on Saturday.
In New York City, Patel witnessed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the twin towers, and he said he chose Somerset because of its proximity to the Flight 93 National Memorial.
“I wish that we could’ve been open on Sept. 11 (this year) because I was hoping to provide services to the families (of Flight 93),” he said. “They’re grieving and they shouldn’t have to worry about their basic morning needs. These individuals put their lives at risk for us.
“We couldn’t be open in time this year, but we’ll be here next year.”
Patel owns Dunkin’ Donuts locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The Somerset location will employ 35 people.