Dunn Bros. Coffee Plans Franchising Expansion to 250 Locations | Dunn Brothers Coffee

Dunn Bros. Coffee Plans Franchising Expansion to 250 Locations

Twin Cities coffeehouse chain Dunn Bros. is planning a major franchise expansion, with a goal of reaching 250 stores in the next five years.

Trade publication QSR has a report on the effort by Minneapolis-based Dunn Bros. Coffee, which currently has about 50 stores in seven states. About half of the locations are in Minnesota.

The move comes about two years after Dunn Bros. was by bought by Costa Mesa, California-based private equity firm Gala Capital Partners. (Gala’s portfolio also includes fast-casual chains Rusty Taco, Cici’s Pizza and MooYah Burgers, Fries & Shakes.)

Scott Harvey, who joined Dunn Bros. as president in 2023, talked with the Business Journal last summer about his plans to grow the brand. He came to the company from Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery, where as president and CEO he helped grow the fast-casual chain to more than 100 locations. Before that, he was president and chief operating officer of Black Rifle Coffee, another small-batch roaster, where he helped develop a new store prototype.

Harvey told the Business Journal that Gala adds an infrastructure that helps the brand’s growth. Dunn Bros. will also drive attraction with a social media push.

“When you look at the coffee space today, I just think there’s a want and there’s a need for coffee in the areas where we want to do it,” he said.

He noted that the chain would likely build out its presence in its existing markets like Texas, the Dakotas, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin. Because coffee is so baked into peoples’ morning routines, he said drive-thrus are “going to be essential for our growth pattern moving forward, because consumers want to grab their stuff and go in the morning.”

Dunn Bros. is also expanding its presence in grocery stores, inking deals with hometown grocers Kowalski’s Markets (which took off in January) and one that’s underway with Lunds & Byerlys to sell coffee beans on their shelves. It’s also selling single-cup offerings, like for a Keurig.