HERMON — It will soon be time to make a lot more doughnuts in Maine for the well-known Dunkin’ Donuts corporation.

Bangor CPL LLC, which makes doughnuts and transports them to 39 Dunkin’ Donuts stores in eastern and central Maine, is gearing up to build a new, larger commercial kitchen in Hermon. The $3 million facility will allow franchise owners to expand the number of stores to as many as 100 over the coming decade, Bruce MacDonald, whose family owns stores in the Brewer area as well as Blue Hill and Milo, said in a recent interview.

The new facility will replace the existing Dunkin’ Donuts production plant that operates out of leased space at 90 Hildreth St. in Bangor. It is one of only two Dunkin’ Donuts commercial kitchens in Maine, the other being in Lewiston, MacDonald said.

“Our lease is running out and because it’s a leased property, we decided to buy our own [land] and build our own [facility] instead of re-leasing. Someday we can make this even larger. Where we’re at today, we can never expand or make the building larger.”

The 15-year-old Bangor plant serves Dunkin’ Donuts stores owned by a seven-member co-op that, besides MacDonald’s family, includes members of an unrelated MacDonald family serving Belfast and Searsport; the Lima family group of owners serving the Ellsworth area, Bailey family owners in the Skowhegan area, the Caufa family group which owns stores in the Waterville area and members of the Costa family, whose stores are in the Bangor area, MacDonald said.

Construction on the new facility in Hermon will begin this summer and is expected to wrap up by the end of the year or shortly thereafter, he said.


“It used to be you made your doughnuts out of the store,” said MacDonald, who has been in the doughnut business for 42 years. “That’s a big limitation on expanding our business because we’re spending our time baking. With the kitchen, we don’t really think about baking anymore so we can go and expand [the number of stores we operate].”

As it stands, the franchisee group’s current plant has 33 hourly employees who make and deliver an estimated 20,000 dozen doughnuts a week, as well as muffins and bagels for locations that don’t have their own ovens, MacDonald said.

The co-op’s four delivery trucks head out at 1:30 a.m. seven days a week on five different routes that encompass Greater Bangor as well as the Waterville, Lincoln, Madison and Belfast areas, he said. Combined, the delivery trucks rack up about 300 miles a day. To ensure freshness, he said, Dunkin’ Donuts commercial kitchens can only serve stores within a three-hour radius.

Once up and running, the new commercial kitchen will allow the group to dramatically increase production.

“It gives us the ability to expand again. Now our kitchen is basically maxed out. This new one we’re building is going to be big enough for 100 stores. Now that we’re building a kitchen that can supply it, we can go open more locations,” he said.

“A lot of equipment we’re using again but there’s one [new] piece of equipment [that costs] about $90,000. It’s a completely automated machine. Somebody stands in one spot and puts the dough on it. It runs through a conveyor belt and cuts it, proofs it, fries it and glazes it or sugars it and there’s people stationed throughout it to make sure the machine’s running,” MacDonald said. That machine alone can produce 500 dozen donuts an hour, he said.


The new 15,196-square-foot building also will house some administrative space. It will employ between 33 and 40 workers, he said. The roughly 2½-acre lot the owners’ group purchased at 35 Elaine Drive in Hermon’s Freedom Park for Commerce and Industry is large enough to accommodate future growth.

“Today the kitchen is set up so that there’s some automated machinery but there’s still a lot of hands-on work,” he said. “But this new kitchen is going to be completely automated because now we’ll have the square footage to put automated machines in.”

As is the case with many Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees, MacDonald followed his father’s footsteps into the business.

His father, the late Robert MacDonald, bought his first Dunkin’ Donuts in the 1960s and now his sons, Joe and Rob, have signed on, serving as general managers and partners in some of the family’s restaurants. Two of his late brothers also were owners.

“You hear the same story with all the other owners that we have. They’re all the same way. There’s other families that have been in it for years and [often] it’s whole families,” he said.

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