In the epicenter of downtown Columbus at Broad and High sits an influx of activity. Beneath the streaming marquees, innovative advertising and liquid crystal billboards sits Dunkin’ Donuts, the newest downtown addition in all its orange and pink-walled glory. Inside, people eat a quick breakfast and sip on hot coffee on their way to work. It’s the very scene that Mike Bruno envisioned when he decided to bring the national chain to downtown a short while ago.
“We were really excited when the opportunity came to open this store,” says Bruno. “It’s kind of the ground zero for our expansion in the Columbus area.”
Bruno, a Cleveland native and graduate of Ohio State University, wanted to bring the Dunkin’ Donuts brand with him back to Columbus, a market that has seen very few incarnations of the national donut chain. After a long career in marketing with major brands such as FOX and NASCAR, Bruno spent some time working at Dunkin’ Donuts’ corporate office and wondered why they hadn’t opened many stores in the Columbus area.
“Columbus just seems like such a great market for us,” says Bruno. “It seemed amazing to me that there was never really any effort to get stores here.”
A couple of years ago Bruno created Restaurant Developers, a soon-to-be Dublin-based company that will focus on expanding brands such as Dunkin’ Donuts. Bruno plans to open at least 30 stores in the central Ohio area, from campus to the suburbs. Bethel Road will sport the next location.
“I just really want to give back to Columbus,” says Bruno. “I spent probably the best four years of my life here and I know how great this city is.”
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