This podcast is brought to you by modest coffee, single origin coffee without the snobbery go to www dot modest dot coffee forward slash no bad reviews to see what coffees they're roasting today cheers
Hello and welcome to no bad reviews colon a coffee podcast, a podcast where we try coffee any coffee and give no bad reviews their second episode and you're here. Welcome. I'm Jenni and I run all the operations at a coffee company called modest coffee.
And I'm Marcus 2021 Good Food Award winning coffee roaster also at modest coffee.
And I'm Stephanie and I have been the employee of the month at modest coffee for 32 consecutive months. Here's how this works. We are going to try the coffee black. We're going to add cream and sugar. We're going to add whiskey if we need to. Oh it looks like we've got whipped cream on the table today. And we are going to keep drinking this coffee until we have something really nice to say. *dog barking*
That was perfect. We forgot to mention
Cora, the dog Cora the Explorer. She just wanted to make sure that we did not forget about her. Sorry Cora. You don't go outside every time you ring the doorbell especially when it's eight degrees outside in Chicago. So anyways, how are you guys doing? I'm glad to be here on Sunday. Oh
excited. So excited to be here today surrounded by doughnuts.
We decided to do this because of your wonderful mother.
It was my mother in law. She gave a gift to my husband. That was a bag of ground coffee from Krispy Kreme
knowing that you work at a coffee roaster. Yeah,
it was a gift with a couple of beautiful mugs. Um, we decided that if we had Krispy Kreme coffee, we should maybe compare it to Dunkin Donuts coffee today is donut or so happy to be here.
We have donuts to compare Krispy Kreme versus Dunkin Donuts. You got glazed right. Yeah, that's all I got it the Krispy Kreme too. I got a mini one. It's as good as I remember from like, last time I had one which was probably like 15 years ago. So I cheated a little bit I guess
I knew you would on the drive. I know.
I know. I took the 30 minute drive. You know, there used to be Krispy Kreme all over the Chicago area. And then they started shutting him down for some reason. Yeah, we'll
talk about that.
And oh, I can't wait. Yeah, I mean, that's a real bummer cuz I never had Krispy Kremes we were Dunkin Donuts family. And then one day when I was probably like, 18 I had a Krispy Kreme and I was like, What the fuck? Why have we been going to Dunkin Donuts for donuts Krispy Kremes are so much better.
Well, we'll talk about why that is too.
Oh, so much intrigue. I can't wait. Were there, you know, literal
donut wars like happening in Chicago?
Sure yeah. All these companies have been there for a while although I feel like maybe Krispy Kreme is at war with Dunkin Donuts and Dunkin Donuts is at war with Starbucks.
Sounds to me like there's a hierarchy here and Krispy Kreme is at the bottom Krispy Kreme
has had some struggles. I think they'll pull through okay though. Oh, I went to the local Dunkin Donuts thinking I would be in and out and they had the restaurant closed it was drive thru only I don't know if that's like normal but when I got to the window I had to wait for the for people working there who were just sort of standing around to finish their conversation before one of them lead out the window and with like, what what did you order? I don't know. Yeah, I'm not going to go Uh, no, not at 9am on Sunday morning ever again. I know that
hear that Dunkin Donuts? lost yourself at 9am on Sunday
my first job was at Dunkin Donuts. Oh,
tell us all about it.
Kind of like your experience where a bunch of people stood around and were like surprised that somebody was in the window all the time.
Did you get to make the donuts? I started to learn
how to cook on the fryer but then they sold out to another bigger group of regional owners of Dunkin Donuts and then I didn't.
So are you saying that when you worked at Dunkin Donuts they were hand cut. They cut by a machine they were hand cut. Yeah, I do not think that that was the case of Dunkin Donuts anymore. I don't think so. We talked about how we're kind of Dunkin Donuts people and I don't know, I feel like we should have a Krispy Kreme person here. I hope that we can be fair and balanced when we taste test everything.
I'll be team Krispy Kreme.
Um, have you had the Krispy Kreme coffee ever? Never. I don't think I have either and none of us have then. That's exciting.
I didn't even know they made coffee.
Yeah, till your lovely mother in law passed
it along. Yeah, yeah.
But maybe since we're brewing it. I'm excited about us brewing it because we're going to do it the right way.
I actually am excited about us brewing it because Dunkin Donuts is my go to for emergency coffee on the road, and it is very hit or miss. it really depends on the particular franchise on how long ago it was brewed. It really can vary quite a bit. So I
think the two coffees are going to taste exactly the same. That's what I think I think they're going to be exactly the same. I think that there maybe even roasted by the same person and just packaged into two different bags. That's funny.
The descriptions of the two coffees are almost identical on the two separate websites.
Whoa. All right. So Steph, her lovely mother in law gave her the Krispy Kreme bold 1937 Dark Roast. So I went and picked up the Dunkin dark dark roast. Both of them ground coffee.
Really excited. Yeah. Well, we
just have to talk about the history of both companies. Yeah, 90 minutes. I'm gonna start with the oldest company, Dunkin Donuts Krispy Kreme, like 25 years older than Dunkin Donuts. So officially Krispy Kreme was founded in 1937. But we're gonna go back a few years before that even our story starts sometime around 1930 with a man who's completely unrelated to Krispy Kreme named Joseph LeBeau. Or possibly Joseph lebouf. I saw his name spelled differently and
That's Shia Lebouf's great grandfather.
There's so much there's like a shroud of mystery around the Krispy Kreme origin story. Oh, so mystery. I don't like I wish I knew more. I'm Joseph LeBeau was from New Orleans and he was working as a cook on an Ohio River riverboat and he became very famous regionally for these donuts that he made. He made these amazing unbelievable doughnuts.
Shia Lebouf's great grandfather.
We're gonna go with that.
I think that Shia Lebouf should speak to a lawyer. Actually, I don't know what the statute of limitations is on like recipe theft. Oh shit. But at the same time in Paducah, Kentucky. There was a man named Ishmael Armstrong, who henceforth will be uncle Ishmael and he had a general store in Paducah, Kentucky and he somehow acquired this donut recipe. Joseph LeBeau invented the Krispy Kreme donut and didn't see a penny of that Krispy Kreme money. Somehow, Uncle Ishmael got the recipe and was selling these donuts out of his general store. And they were the talk of Paducah. People really freaked out about these doughnuts. In 1933, his 18 year old nephew Vernon Rudolph came to work for him in the store and this is the founder officially of Krispy Kreme Vernon Rudolph. Oh, we missed an
opportunity to call him uncle Vern.
I am going to call him Vern though. I do like that, Vern. Vern.
Alright, so old Vern
so Vern shows up to help his uncle, Uncle Ishmael but it is the middle of the Great Depression. And the store is not doing well. And they make a decision to move to Nashville, Tennessee, because they think they'll have more success. And they get to Nashville, like so many people do. They get to Nashville in 1934 and they decide to just have a bakery like they don't reopen the general store. They just open a donut bakery and they call it Krispy Kreme. Uncle Ishmael is technically the owner of the first Krispy Kreme, so that was 1934 and they called it the Krispy Kreme donut company. By 1937 Vernon had enough money to open his own. So Vernon decided to open his Krispy Kreme in Winston Salem, North Carolina because his favorite company already existed in Winston Salem, smoky, smoky, Camel cigarette company and just wanted to move closer to the it's definitely true. I read that in multiple places a real
commitment to lung cancer. Spoiler alert Vernon did die pretty young. Lung cancer were just gonna go or heart disease. I mean, lung cancer.
He opened his Krispy Kreme in 1937 in Winston Salem and he did not sell directly to the public. His business model was to sell to other convenience stores and different places. So right off the bat that was his idea he would bake from midnight to 4am and then he would deliver I found a picture of a 1939 Krispy Kreme delivery truck and it is the cutest thing I've ever seen. We'll have to post that on the website. It's gorgeous.
1939 Krispy Kreme truck.
Yes, it's green. It's it's very cool people kept turning up between midnight and 4am because they could like smell the doughnuts cooking so he did end up selling if you came between midnight and 4am could buy a fresh doughnut right out of the oil from Krispy Kreme. You had to look and see if the light was on to know if he was there. Cooking donuts which is something that Krispy Kreme retained. Like if you go to one of the bakeries, they turn like a big red light on wow if the doughnuts are being cooked which is like that is
so fun. We should do that when we're at work. So when people like stop by, we'll just take our all of our hours off Google, and just have a red light.
Business expanded quite a bit through the 50s. The red light is definitely a great idea. And he was all over the southeast. I think he did have a store in Ohio really early, but it was mostly all throughout the Southeast, and then he died in 1973. So the company was purchased in 1976 by Beatrice foods in Chicago
at a at an estate sale.
It was picked up by Beatrice foods which did not ring a bell to me the name of that company which later became ConAgra
Ah, so Beatrice Foods was probably some cute little Chicago local thing and then ConAgra was like we're gonna take you now.
Beatrice Foods was definitely smaller. They were also assholes. They got in some trouble for polluting some waterways, yada yada. Anyways the franchisees managed to buy the company back in 1982. And then they had a rapid expansion in the 90s. Yeah 1998 was the first store in Chicago that opened.
That's interesting because a Chicago company bought it in the 70s at the estate sale, it took them 20 years to open a location in Chicago.
Isn't that funny? They stayed down south for quite a while. In 2000 the company went public. This is when we enter the SEC investigation chapter of the Krispy Kreme history
Shia Lebouf's great-grandfather is like pay up homie.
Every time that I feel like every time a company goes public something happens badly after that.
Listen to what they wrote. This is this is really something I was really surprised when I read about this well not surprised because businesses are so inherently evil. Okay, so you have like the parent company right and Krispy Kreme franchisees, franchisees have to buy all of their equipment and all of their product from what is it the Krispy Kreme manufacturing division like you cannot source your own anything it's all comes from Krispy Kreme headquarters. So the parent company was maximizing profits at their level instead of at the franchise level. And what ended up happening was franchises were competing with each other they were opening so close together that they were competing with each other and also during this time they started selling donuts to gas stations, convenience stores, grocery stores, and so they really flooded the market with donuts. The real diehard Krispy Kreme fans were pissed off to see doughnuts in the grocery store. Yeah, I remember. I mean it was really people like they lost some brand loyalty due to that. They got to a point where their earnings were disappointing. They weren't meeting their goals because the franchises just weren't able to sell what was projected.
Well, I'll say one thing that I find interesting is that they started out as a company delivering to gas stations and convenience stores and that sounds like what is bringing that down. What
did yeah, it become a problem.
Their downfall. What took them up, took them right back down.
Then what the company decided to do to fix this whole cashflow problem. It's called channel stuffing. At the end of each quarter, they would send all the franchises twice what they ordered, loaded it on the books it looked like they had met their sales goal.
You know what that sounds like some multi level marketing shit right there.
The SEC said there was no intentional illegal activity. The SEC investigated and said Well, it seems like you guys weren't intentionally trying to break any law.
Okay, so I know this is a podcast and nobody can see me roll my eyes, but I'm rolling my eyes.
I wonder if they had that SEC person like in their pocket. They're like filtering or funneling him some donuts.
This CEO of Krispy Kreme did not blame himself for any accounting issues. He didn't feel as though penetrating the market was the problem at all. Do you want to guess what he blamed for their poor sales? Dunkin Dunkin Donuts? I don't know not. So the time had no problem with sales. The CEO of the company said the reason that their sales numbers were down with the Atkins diet was ruining their
early 2000s. Atkins was really popular back
then that's like no harm but she bacon diet and
I remember hearing about Atkins from the CEO was like
Oh um, then in 2016 Krispy Kreme came under private ownership of a German Investment Company, Marcus? JAB holdings, JAB holdings. Marcus has just mentioned this company to me the other day randomly and I was like, wait, I know about them. So what do you know about JAB Holdings?
I know that they're a conglomerate that's been scooping up all sorts of specialty coffee interests across the country. So I know that they own their own Krispy Kreme. They own Intelligensia. They own Stumptown. And if they're looking for a small to medium sized coffee roaster in Chicago...
They are a global coffee empire. Pete's coffee and tea, Keurig Green Mountain, espresso house, Krispy Kreme, Panera, Einstein Brothers, Stumptown, intelligentsia. They own Keurig and Green Mountain? Yeah.
That's crazy. Do you have like their their old school history from like, the uh certain uh middle of last century?
I sure do. I sure do. You know, I looked at their website to see like, who is JAB and that company was founded under a different name in 1823. It's like a 200 year old company. They were originally a chemical manufacturing company in Germany in 1823. There is a timeline on the website and the first thought on the timeline is 1823. And the next step on the timeline is 1980.
Oh shit just so they have like, it's like in Wizard of Oz, like do not worry about whatever's going on behind that curtain. We're just gonna take you 150 years, don't worry, in Germany for sure. BEEP Okay, but you got to leave in the part where you say I'm going to have to cut that out because I'm gonna get sued by JAB.
Can I say anything about, can I speculate about Nazi Germany?
Okay, so you can say some sources say, but then you might have to defend your sources.
So, I'm going to say I have no clue and all I do know for certain is that you know, what happened in that 100 year period, world war one and world war two, and it, and they were a chemical company, and they were a chemical company during the same time.
I could not find any information anywhere that said that they were making any anything related to war like that. Okay. And for sure that that's the tell. What they were doing was using forced labor... oh shit... in their chemical plants. They were legitimately Nazis are not good Germans and they were not...
Were they, like, using like Auschwitz forced labor? Yeah. Oh my god. Yeah, okay. Yeah, my God. Yeah,
they it's like they're not gonna put, hey, you know, for this 150 years, war crimes.
Like literally war crimes, that's they were doing.
How was this company not taken to Nuremberg?
um, nobody seemed to know that they had anything to do with any of this until like 2019 When a newspaper story came out, and then the company was like, oh, yeah, we feel really bad about that. Oh, my God. We're going to donate a bunch of money to some some Holocaust museums. And yeah, sorry. Oh my god. Oops. But what's interesting is this company is still owned by the same family, 200 years. Are you serious? There are currently four people who are siblings who own the entire company worth $50 billion.
Wait, how many Wait, how many siblings?
four siblings? $50 million.
Yeah, and they all own it together.
Yes. Oh, my God. That's 12 and a half each.
I'm like speechless. I know. I'm kind of in shock right now.
I'm a little disgusted. I feel like that's going to taint my like, you know, coffee.
I like looking at the box of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. I'm like, how am I gonna find joy and..
Yeah, enjoy your fucking Nazi donuts. Oh, yeah. Then they started investing in companies buying up companies in the 80s. They got on that whole boom, and they started with cosmetics companies and the first coffee company they bought was Pete's. And I guess that went well for them. And so they've really just stuck with beverages. Since then they have some money invested in pet care, too. You might want to see where your pet food is coming from. But
who could have thought that? Oh, a little donut company has such a history of like war crimes and theft. It's crazy.
Yeah, so March 2018. This is a headline the family that controls Stumptown Coffee is grappling with its Nazi roots. There you go. At least they're questioning. They're grappling. Yeah, there you go. Right.
Dunkin Donuts founded by, okay now, German immigrants.the. what!... we are pivoting right now from the Nazis to the Jewish immigrants from Germany.
We fell into comparing these two coffees by complete accident. Yeah. But somehow they are perfectly intertwined.
I want you to not get your hopes up about Dunkin Donuts because it also has a rich rich history. You laughed a little bit like oh, you just wait you just wait. You just wait until it get to the eighties. It all goes to shit in the withering. You
know what, you know, we grew up in the 80s it was shit for us too. Alright, so Dunkin
Donuts, are you ready to jump into this new story? Okay, so William Rosenberg, Little Billy Rosenberg was born in 1916. In Boston. His parents were German Jews who had fled… Fled Krispy Kreme… Fled Krispy Kreme. His dad owned a grocery store in Boston that unfortunately closed again the Great Depression came along and poor little poor little Billy Rosenberg had to drop out of eighth grade and support the family. So at age 14, he got a job delivering for Western Union. Then when he was old enough to drive a car he got a job with simco. by the time he was like 21 He was running the whole show there. That's a go getter. Um, he got a job at Bethlehem Steel. He was the first Jewish trade union delegate there. Get it, Billy. Yes. After World War Two he had $1,500 in war bonds that he cashed in. He borrowed another $1,000 It was enough to buy a catering truck his first business
it was about $38,000
Oh, well, that's good. Start off to buy a catering truck. Yeah,
he named his first business Aaaaaaaahhh… Are you gonna cut that out? Yeah.
Just leave it all. And maybe we need to leave that in.
Industrial luncheon services, but this first company and he had a catering truck and he delivered lunch and coffee breaks next to factory workers all around the outskirts of Boston. So this is late 1940s He's doing this. Yes, this is he started the business right after the war. He was so successful that within just a couple of years, he had like 200 trucks.
Oh my god. Wow.
You know what? I feel like there was a day and age where you could actually do stuff like that. And I don't know why it's not like that anymore. Oh, it is you just
have to have people that want to do that. You know,
people just don't want to work like that. people just
don't. I don't want to manage 200 trucks. Of anything. God, I can barely manage myself.
Yeah. It seems like it would be a lot. He um, and what he discovered was that the doughnuts and coffee were the most popular item like 40% of its sales and coffee
and he was using data that I know.
That's how he got here. Because he was like real, he was really sharp about it. He
was a really smart guy. He definitely was. Okay, so he decided to open a brick and mortar restaurant because the food trucks were doing so well and it was just going to be a donut shop just doughnuts and coffee. He called he opened in 1948. So this is like four years after he bought his first truck. He's just crushing it.
I mean, this guy, I don't even know, this guy. He's probably what like 22. By this point,
he was probably more like in his early 30s at this point. So he opened Open Kettle and then in 1950s Some kind of marketing executive convinced him that he should change the name that Open Kettle wasn't a good enough name and he should change it to Dunkin Donuts.
I mean, I get it, like Open Kettle. Yeah, like I'm going to go get some Open Kettle donuts. It just isn't, it doesn't have a ring.
Right? So they consider that the founding of the company 1950. Okay, even though that exact store existed in 1942. That's what their bag says, too. The brick and mortar store did exceptionally well also. Oh, you know when he was offering most donut shops had five different varieties of doughnuts he was offering 52 varieties. Holy moly. That was his gimmick.
That's like how they became Baskin Robbins Baskin Robbins just like we have dozens of flavors. 31 flavors and yeah, that it seemed like a match made in heaven then. They're just really into their flavors
but no, not it's like back to like five flavors. like you go to Dunkin Donuts. There's like five. I can’t even think of
52, i can’t even imagine that many flavors. maple bacon?
Donut flavored doughnuts. Like little donuts on top of donuts.
A Dunkin Donuts today they were offering a donut with a Stroopwafel on top of it.
A stroopwafel! I should have gotten one.
I like I like donut sprinkles on a doughnut. Doughnut on my donut. That's a good one. Yeah.
Oh my god. I cannot wait to eat the doughnuts. Let's please.
Okay, you know what? We can't rush it though.
That's true. I came a lot of time on Krispy Kreme.
Boxes of donuts.
Krispy Kremes are definitely tainted. Okay. I am like drooling right now though. Right down my face.
Oh, all right. Um, by 1955 He was opening his sixth location and that's when he was like, I need to start franchising because I'm fucking exhausted. So he started selling franchises. His son became the CEO at age 25. So he was apparently a real go getter too.
Wow, 25 huh. Although, I mean, yeah, I
think maybe he had a leg up already. Yeah.
I don't know. Did he really work his way up to CEO at 25?
He started at the bottom at like vice CEO. At 7 years old.
And so that was in 1963. They already had 100 locations by 1963
years later, we're killing it. Wow.
Well, let me just tell you what ended up happening so little Billy in 1968 He bought a farm because he wanted to breed horses and he retired to his farm so like fuck it I'm done. And he actually like was really good at breeding. This guy
really does not fail., no.
He was like, This is what I'm doing now even though it has nothing to do with anything I've ever done. And look at me. I'm great at it. And he passed away in 2002 from cancer, like a very nice life it seemed. Yes.
If I get successful. It's like I want to live out my days making horses fuck.
That's beautiful. All right, in 1990 they were purchased by Allied Lyons. Allied Lyons is a British investment company. They were a beverage company, spirits and wine mostly. And a couple other things.
Now Allied Lyons is already sounding better than Nazis. Yes. Okay. Allied Lyons has also bought Baskin Robbins. They went together. Allied Lyons was like we need all the flavors. They're like, we want your 52 We want your 31
Yes, all of it.
I see something about 9/11 in those notes. I'm like wondering what is going on here?
Yeah, shits about to go down. Allied Lyons also purchased another company called Mr. Donuts.
Ah, it sounds so cute. Listen to this.
Mr. Donut was owned by Harry Winokur the brother in law of Bill Rosenberg. Who's Bill Rosenberger? Owner of Dunkin Donuts. So his bother in law, Harry worked with him at Dunkin Donuts. So, Harry and Billy had like a falling out. Of some kind Harry opened his own donut shop called Mr. Donut. It was Dunkin Donut’s number one competitor. Oh shit. They have 550 locations in the US 10,000 locations worldwide.
I never heard of this company. I've never heard of them either. So this was definitely during the time we were alive. Yes. Wow.
Mr. Donut still exists as Mr. Donut all over Asia, and they are owned by a Japanese conglomerate called Mitsui. Mitsui, I encourage you to look them up. I went to their Wikipedia page and started reading and I was like oh, fuck it. I can't I can't get into like another conglomerate but there's a whole other story there. So we can do a whole Mr. Donot episode someday. So Allied Lyons buys Mr. Donut and tells all the franchisees 550 In the US if you would like to become a Dunkin Donuts, you're welcome two of those 550, 549 said yes, we will become a Dunkin Donuts and that is how Dunkin grew in the 90s. He's kind of
a shady guy. Stole those donut recipes. But that's funny because it's very similar to Krispy Kreme. Yeah. Shia’s great grandfather.
Talk about cease and desist. “Stop telling everyone my grandparents owned a donut shop.” I guess he’ll have to come on the episode and clear it up for us. Shia, open invite. do your grandparents…
Do you have an excellent family recipe that you'd like to talk about?
Here's where things take an ugly turnfor our friends at Dunkin Donuts. 2005, Dunkin and Baskin Robbins are sold to a private equity consortium. Consortium? One of those. What's right, um, Some of which some of the the private equity companies you've heard of. Oh, I sure I have.
Ah, Thomas H. Lee Parker partners is one of them. I haven't heard of them and couldn't find any dirt. Me neither. So they've probably very similar…
That means they’ve probably got a ton of dirt. That's
What I was going to say. I was like, that's the missing 150 years. It’s their whole company.
Bain Capital, or did everybody familiar with them? Mitt Romney's company? It was Mitt Romney's idea. It was, I'm sorry, it was Bain capital's idea to put together this consortium and to purchase Dunkin Donuts.
I mean, in light of all recent political developments, Mitt Romney's kinda come out a little bit of a hero. Should I hate Bain Capital any more? You should
definitely hate you should absolutely. Bain Capital became so good at purchasing successful companies and tearing them apart because it was more financially viable in the moment to just bust up the company and sell it
for parts. That’s bullshot. Mitt, I was almost on your side.
They're the worst, Bain Capital. They're the worst. Oh, wait…
we are totally gonna get sued. This is what I do
know about Bain Capital. Um, they manage $140 billion dollars.
That’s a lot of billions. That is too many billions.
and what they what they really did perfect was that CEOs should maximize shareholder value rather than any other goals
Ugh, the shareholders.
The last private equity group is the Carlyle Group.
Now I don't know much about them. If you said the Koch brothers, I would have just died on the spot. Okay. Well,
let me tell you what the Carlyle Group invest in military electronic military communication electronic warfare systems, the United Defense Industries which produces combat vehicles, artillery, naval guns on side monitors and precision munitions, which…
Dunkin, because America needs to run on something other than guns.
So if Bain Capital is basically just Mitt Romney, the Carlyle Group is basically just the Bush family and and the bin Laden family. Oh
Shit. This goes deep!
The bin Ladens actually had to pull their money. There was like an embarrassing little incident. An embarrassing little incident. My favorite part I'm finally getting to it. Shafiq bin Laden was to be the guest speaker at the annual investor conference. For the Carlyle Group at the Ritz Carlton in Washington DC.
This is after they purchased Dunkin. Yes.
Let me just check the date on that. Ah, September 11 2001. Shafiq bin Laden, the keynote speaker for the Carlyle investment meeting. Yeah, what the fuck? So I'm
shocked. Like we're a little coffee podcast,
major corporation, like beyond major corporations. What have stumbled upon? So we're going to… Oh my God, why is there somebody with sunglasses in a suit walking up to my door? *knocking sound* Guys. What the fuck? Probably this is how we get our podcast taken off the air by telling too much.
These people do not still own Dunkin Donuts sigh of relief. While they did own Dunkin Donuts.
How long did they own them for?
they owned them until recently I think,
Did Dunkin donuts fund either side of 911, or both sides? We can't say that for sure. You don't have to answer that. I’m just gonna leave that question out there.
I actually think that okay, Dunkin Donuts actually became independent in 2012. Okay, so that's how long they were on. I can't believe, 2002-2012
I am like astonished right now. So the Carlyle Group is Bush, the Bush family. And I was just about to you know what, George Bush had been making all those paintings and stuff. Like doing this cute, sweet, old man like got wrapped up into something you didn't know what was happening. You just came from this family. You
know he is not an enlightened man. He's a horrible person. Am I not allowed to say that? okay,
you can have your opinions but like, I actually don't know what we're talking about anymore. Okay, we
Were talking about the Carlyle Group and how they own Dunkin Donuts and how the Carlyle Group was owned by Osama Bin Ladin or maybe not him, but the bin Laden family, and the Bushes. Where are we right now? So
right now, um, this private equity group owns Dunkin Donuts. And here's something fun that they did while they were owners. They discovered that franchises that were single franchises where one person owned one franchise and that was it were a lot more trouble than franchises where one owner owned multiple franchises so what they did to try to eliminate the single owner the single franchise locations
Wait, who's eliminating this? Carlyle. And Bain, the whole consortium. So they were like partners? The fellowship of the donut ring. The evil rich people get together. So what else did they own though? I’m sure they didn’t all just come together just for Dunkin Donuts.
Oh actually they did just come together for Dunkin Donuts. And Baskin Robbins. So the evil
heads of power of the world, of the United States and in the Middle East coming together for doughnuts and ice cream? This is world peace.
Um, so they forced the fourth single store owners into buyouts to get rid of them. And what they did was, you know, if you have a franchise and somebody from corporate comes and checks to make sure that you're not breaking any rules, and if you're doing something wrong, normally they attempt to help you fix it, because they want you to keep making money. What they did was whenever someone did something wrong, and they were a single franchise owner, they just sued them. Oh, what the fuck. God damn. They sued 154 franchise owners over the course of two years, which is like unprecedented, like other companies in that same time period with four times as many franchisees have like maybe eight lawsuits against franchise owners like it just doesn't happen. No company wants to do that.
I wonder if that’s why my job sold. Oh, because there was a bunch of inspections happening all the time. Wow, this is crazy.
In 2020 Inspire Brands purchased Dunkin and Baskin. They are the largest restaurant company in the US. I was curious who actually owns Inspire Brands. It is the Roark Capital Group. The Roark Capital Group, Atlanta private equity firm, majority owner of Inspire. on the front page of their website they explain that the name Roark capital comes from Howard Roark, the protagonist in the Fountainhead
Ayn Rand. Yeah, so now we know.
Yep, so that's who selling us our Dunkin Donuts. I… better than Nazis. I guess if…
well if we go down the rabbit hole of Ayn Rand…
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, like if these people are really inspired by Ayn Rand then we've got problems with dunkin donuts too for sure. Yeah, I mean, you cannot purchase something from a corporation and feel good about it ever. That was what we have learned today. Happy donut wars.
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All right, here we are the olfactory reveal. Right now I am opening up the Dunkin Donuts.
I want to quickly read the description of both coffees from both websites because they're so hilariously similar. Krispy Kreme Old 1937 Ground Coffee rich and robust a full bodied blend to awaken your senses. Like all it says about the coffee on the website, no idea what else is going on with it.
17 pages of doughnuts, three sentences.
The Dunkin Dark is deliciously smooth with a robust finish. Both say robust. Dunkin Dark awakens your senses. Isn't that funny?
They had the same marketing department. Let me see the grind on these. Oh, here's an interesting the Dunkin Donuts is a coarser grind. Then, the Krispy Kreme and looking at them side by side the color of the Dunkin is a much lighter color than the Krispy Kreme
Yeah, a huge variety of coffees on their website, a huge variety of levels of quality, a huge variety of flavors. They have like a coffee quiz that you can take on the Dunkin Donuts website so you know which coffee to buy.
What do you like in your coffee? Hazelnut. Like surprise
you would like Hazelnut! Alright, finally,
so Steph is putting out the Dunkin right now.
I'm going to get in. Get in on this olfactory. Does it smell robust and bold?
Is it awakening your senses?
I'm awake. A Krispy Kreme. Just right off the bat is like really attacks, attacks the nose.
It like gets right up in there. Right up in your nose. Let's see. All right. So I've got Krispy Kreme in my right hand and Dunkin in my left eye noticing that the Dunkin Donuts coffee has a much softer scent.
If you start with the Dunkin, your palate’s probably messed up.
Well, I didn’t even sip them yet. I'm just talking about the smell. Yeah, it's my nose palate. Yeah. Oh, I didn't know you can have a nose palate too.
I mean, it's like the same palate. It's connected to your nose.
So because I'm just sniffing too much that they both do now.
Alright, so Krispy Kreme definitely has a stronger scent, fragrance odor. I don't know what would be the right word for that seems like there's not really a good word. Aroma. Aroma. There we go. Alright, so now we're going to try them step by step.
I tried a sip of the Krispy Kreme and that was, again aggressively
Bold.I brewed these to like make sure the water temperatures stayed the same and to make sure they're brewed at the exact same speed.
And that's interesting though, because I took a sip of the Dunkin and it got much higher acidity almost like it’s under extracted
a little bit yeah, I mean that could be because of the the coarser grain that always affects the speed in which it brews to and why
they're both very aggressive
you know what I think? I am wow, I I'm, I'm thinking that a little bit a cream and sugar are gonna go really well in these coffees. I was
really rooting for a black win I stopped by Dunkin.
Yeah, especially based on how it smelled when we first opened it. It smelled much better. It’s pretty pleasant. Yeah, very palatable. Uh huh.
I can drink it black. I didn't drink this Dunkin Donuts black.
Are those times you hit the drive thru? Oh, yeah.
Does it remind you like is this as good as a drive
thru? It's definitely better than the dive thru because it hasn't been sitting for four hours which is what the drive thru coffee is generally. Yeah. Like,
do you normally drink your coffee black?
I do normally drink my coffee cool so that helps to level set
so I let it cool a little and I think the Dunkin black it's my preferred over the Krispy Kreme black.
I agree. The Krispy Kreme definitely like has some bitterness. It's definitely an unpleasant aftertaste.
Yeah. It's almost reminds me a little bit of the maple bacon before cream and sugar.
Yeah, without the flavor without the added flavor without really aggressively.
Yeah, I don't. Yeah, I much prefer the Dunkin Donuts and I will keep drinking that black. I'm fine with drinking that black.
I'm gonna add some Oatly to my coffees. And see what that does. Because we know that only is the way I normally drink my coffee.
Um, my notes say Central African and Indo Pacific beans.
So that's Sumatra and the Sumatra it's got a nice little like tobaccoy vanillay like funk to it doesn't take a lot but I I think that might be what I'm tasting. Does
it taste lush, well rounded and satisfied because that's what the chief marketing officer says it will taste like.
I identify more with like, the robust in the bold.
I'm going to finally taste a donut I'm the only one who hasn't cheated yet today.
Well, I will be trying those in just a second but I am trying my coffee. Oh, yeah. The oatly does tone down the Krispy Kreme that does level the playing field a little bit. Yeah, I went
for half and half this round and on the Dunkin I feel like yeah, I would be satisfied with this in my cup.
Some coffees, you got to add some sweetness to bring out their best flavor, right? Do you wonder if maybe having a little bit of a more bitter coffee is meant to be eaten with a doughnut? Like if I take a bite of donut and then drink a sip of coffee is that going to do it?
I just did that with a Krispy Kreme and the coffee was a lot better with that sugary donut lingering. Krispy Kreme did specifically say that this coffee was perfectly designed to go with their donut. The idea behind Krispy Kreme though is that they do want you to go with a donut.
Yeah, I mean, that makes sense.
I tried adding sugar to my Krispy Kreme. It's still not there yet. I'm kind of afraid to go to the alcohol. Yeah, I know where this is going. I'm gonna have to
Now Marcus is going through the whiskey. I have to say now I've tried the Dunkin donut in comparison to the Krispy Kreme donut by far Krispy Kreme is 100% superior.
I'm about to say something very controversial. I'm not saying I like the Dunkin donut better than the Krispy Kreme. I'm having trouble deciding which one I like better. Oh, and like Krispy Kreme.
I hit it with the whiskey. You hit it with the whiskey? And this is again this is like it's I don't know, maybe it's like the more robust a coffee is, it kind of works.
I just added more sugar to my Krispy Kreme coffee so we'll see if that can get it to where I want to drink it.
You might have to pull out the big guns.
Alright, I've added whipped cream to my Krispy
Kreme. All right, well, the whiskey definitely improves things right? Like, it's weird how well it rounds it out whenever it works. I mean, yeah, cheers.
I think I like Krispy Kreme a little bit better with the whipped cream too.
Are we all in agreement about our favorite coffee?
I thought Dunkin Donuts just palatable just taking it one step to Oatly. Totally.
Yeah, I think it needed less work to get there. There you go.
We all knew kind of at what level these coffees were going to be right? There's no surprises and there's you know, diner coffee has its place.
For sure. So, Steph, who are these coffees for? I think these are for everyone. That's nice.
I mean, I think it's probably somebody who you know, just Oh, I love hitting the drive thru at Dunkin. And so I'm going to pick up a bag of this to have at home.
And I feel like the Krispy Kreme who that's for is the 1950s steel worker who walked around with a flask in his pocket. Like hey, I just starting my day. A little tipple.
This episode was a wild ride through history. I mean, I'm still stunned from everything I've learned about both Krispy Kreme and Dunkin. We're definitely going to have to take a road trip to Mr. Coffee right outside St. Louis. Yes. That was the most inspirational thing I learned. So but yeah, great second episode. Really interesting. You did awesome research, Steph. I was like captivated the entire time. Captivated I could not wait to hear what
it was underneath and who
knew so much drama existed around coffee.
Just you'd never even think twice about it. Don't even. Dunkin donuts just go get some donuts and a coffee. Hit the drive thru you don't even know Right? So much drama.
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Like we will like literally get our house bombed. Yeah. Anyway thank you for joining us. And we'll see you next week. Steph Do you want to sign off? Bye!
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