In 1959, Emile Deslauriers first began working for Dunkin’ Donuts at a company store in Cranston, Rhode Island. Nearly a decade later, when company stores gave way to franchise-owned stores, Emile bought his first franchise on Broad Street in Central Falls, RI. As the years went on Emile bought more stores in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Eventually, his son, Roger joined the family business—first as a baker then as a store operator.
A lot has happened in 50 years but one thing is for sure: the donut and coffee business has been good to the Deslauriers family. Today, Roger and his brother-in-law Rick Demers own and operate five Dunkin’ Donuts franchise locations in Massachusetts (four in Attleboro, one in Rehoboth) and two locations in Florida (St. Petersburg and South Pasadena). Other family members and long-time employees are partners in these operations.
Roger and Rick aren’t kidding when they say their employees are part of the family. In fact, they have given several staff members the opportunity to work their way up through the ranks to management and beyond. Aaron Anderson, Jen Fontaine, Louie Oliveira and Bob Palmer all took their first jobs at stores owned by the Deslauriers family and are now store managers and part owners. Chris Cahoon, who also first entered the workforce at a Deslauriers franchise, will become part owner of one of the Attleboro locations in June.
Last week, senior partners Roger Deslauriers and Rick Demers welcomed customers, family members and others to their store on South Main Street in Attleboro for a “ribbon cutting” event to celebrate the family’s 50th year in the Dunkin’ Donuts business and to unveil green technologies now in use at this and two other locations (see related article). The festivities included free coffee and donuts for everyone – not just those attending the event, but all customers – from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. State and local politicians, DDIFO associates, members of the green technology business community and Dunkin’ Brands personnel were among those on hand. During the program, several attendees spoke, sharing their best wishes and congratulations.
“It’s exciting to be here today with you – certainly a tremendous day here – 50 years in business,” remarked State Senator Jim Timilty. “To be a family business that’s been successful for 50 years says a lot about your family, about your work ethic … and how much effort you’ve put in.” Timilty then read an Official Citation from the Massachusetts State Senate and presented it to Roger.
Attleboro Mayor Kevin Dumas spoke about how generous and dedicated the Deslauriers family has been through the years to the city of Attleboro and how pleased he was to be part of their 50th anniversary celebration.
“On behalf of everybody at Dunkin’ Brands, I want to congratulate Roger Deslauriers and the entire Deslauriers family on your 50th anniversary with Dunkin’ Donuts,” said Andrew Mastrangelo, a public relations manager for Dunkin’ Brands. “Our brand was built on the shoulders of operators like the Deslauriers family, and we believe that people like Roger and his partner, Rick Demers, are the true heartbeat of our business.”
DDIFO President Jim Coen presented Roger with a clock featuring the engraving: “DD Independent Franchise Owners congratulate the extended Deslauriers family on 50 years of Dunkin’ Donuts dedication to quality service through generations of ownership.” He commented, “It’s great to be here to celebrate 50 years of a family that has worked hard, invested and committed themselves to Dunkin’ Donuts and the community as franchise owners through generations.”