Dunkin’ Donuts fly off the racks on first day at Ramstein
Stars and Stripes June 16, 2016
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — The first Dunkin’ Donuts shop at a U.S. military base in Europe opened here Thursday, and customers turned out in droves.
By 8 a.m., when base and store officials cut the ceremonial grand-opening ribbon, the line snaked by several store fronts in the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center.
Army Staff Sgt. Josh Dixon showed up at 6:20 a.m. to stake out his position at the head of the line.
He was picking up doughnuts for visiting family and wanted to make sure their favorites were still available.
The Dunkin’ Donuts staff was ready for the hungry crowd. About 10,000 doughnuts, muffins and other items were prepared for the opening, said Jari Stus, who manages 17 Dunkin’ Donuts stores in southern Germany, including the KMCC location.
More stores could open at other military bases in Europe, depending on how the doughnut business goes at Ramstein, said Marc Floyd, Army and Air Force Exchange Service general manager for the Kaiserslautern Military Community.
Krystal Stiers was headed to Wasgau for breakfast early Thursday with her three boys before school. As the smell of fresh doughnuts wafted through the mall, they made a detour and joined the line.
By the time they placed their order, they were late for school.
“We got here super early, so I thought we would move a little bit quicker, but it was worth it,” Stiers said. “It’s their last day of school.”
She bought 18 doughnuts, some for the office staff at school, to whom her boys would report late.
The Europe version of Dunkin’ Donuts differs slightly from the American franchises due to availability of products, Stus said. “This is something in between, I would say,” he said, of the Ramstein store. “We try to make it as American as we can.”
The sausage bagel sandwich, for example, isn’t on the menu, but Stus said they hope to add it soon.
Many familiar varieties were on the racks, from the popular Boston Crème to the Strawberry Frosted Sprinkles. A new flavor, Nutella, comes frosted and filled with the hazelnut-chocolate nougat.
One airman was looking for an apple fritter. There were none, but there was an apple cinnamon doughnut, an employee told him.
Staff Sgt. Rodney Matthews found his favorite, the strawberry-filled. Suited in his physical training gear, he ordered 30 doughnuts.
“I’m eating six and I’m going to sell the other 24” to his co-workers at the Ramstein dental clinic, he said, since his co-workers weren’t able to attend the opening.
“I’m very excited,” he said. “It’s my favorite doughnut spot. I used to drive to Trier to go to Dunkin’ Donuts.”
An ortho-technician, Matthews allowed that the sugary confections weren’t healthy for teeth.
“Not at all,” he said. “But I work with people who can fix it.”