Dunkin’ Donuts, which announced last August that it planned to enter the Twin Cities market as part of a national expansion, has signed its first local franchisee.

A group led by Minnesota native Peter Turner, who retired from the military in 2007, has signed on for at least 20 restaurants in southern Hennepin County and throught Carver County. He also will open 12 stores in Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin’ Donuts still is looking for franchisees for another four territories within the Twin Cities area, with a minimum requirement of 20 stores each.

The company requires that franchisees have a minimum net worth of $1.5 million with at least $750,000 in liquid assets. Candidates must commit to opening at least five restaurants.

Dunkin’ Donuts plans to open about 100 new restaurants in Minnesota over the next several years, stretching as far north as Bemidji, south to Owatonna, west to the state border and east into Wisconsin.

Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal