MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Dunkin’ Donuts is looking to expand in to Minnesota.

The last franchise closed in the late 1990s, but now the shop wants to open about 50 restaurants across the state by the end of next summer.

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A majority of them would be in the Twin Cities, but other cities, including Duluth, will have locations.

Derek Struss is one of the people excited about Dunkin’s return to Minnesota.

“It’s such a big market up here and I think there are a lot of people who’d want to see Dunkin’ Donuts come back. I think they would do well here,” Struss said.

But Dunkin’ isn’t just donuts. The store has stepped up its coffee game, and is now going after the national chains.

The metro’s market has a glut of coffee shops. Nearly half of Caribou Coffee’s 200 locations are in the Twin Cities.

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And there are an additional 70 Dunn Brothers, plus Starbucks and national chains.

Steve Rafferty, senior director of U.S. franchising at Dunkin’ Brands, says his stores are confident they will compete and succeed in Minnesota.

“We think they’re great competitors, but the Dunkin’ experience is a little bit different than other competitors out there,” Rafferty said.

Dunkin’ did explore returning to the Twin Cities a few years ago, but Rafferty says the timing wasn’t right.

Now with successful launches of other franchises across the country and the Midwest, the supply chain is ready to go.

The expansion could also include the return of Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream stores to the state.

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