Kelsey Volkmann of the St Louis Business Journal Reports that Dunkin’ Donuts will officially return to the St. Louis market after a 10-year absence with the opening of a store Thursday in Kirkwood.

Michael Geller plans to open the first of his dozen planned St. Louis stores at 5 a.m. at 1210 South Kirkwood Road.

Geller, who until recently lived in New York, said he’s long wanted to return to the St. Louis area and bring the Dunkin’ Donuts brand with him.

He is a Washington University law and business school alumnus who hails from a family with a 20-year history of operating Dunkin’ Donuts on the East Coast.

“My mother and aunt have operated Dunkin’ Donuts in New Jersey, where Dunkin’ Donuts has a major presence, for more than 20 years,” he said in a statement. “I grew up with it, always loved the business and always loved the products.”

The last Dunkin’ Donuts in St. Louis closed about a decade ago. But the chain has been working with Pace Properties since late 2007 tore-enter the market.

Franchisee Milan Patel of OHM Concession Group LLC plans to open a unit at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport’s East Terminal next week.

Last year,the company signed a deal with Jay Patel, managing partner of Dunkin’ Development of Greater St. Louis, for 10 stores in St. Louis. Patel owns multiple convenience stores and gas stations in St. Louis as well as six Subway restaurants in Philadelphia. He is also the president of Accurate Personnel Services.

To cut costs and better access financing, some Dunkin’ franchisees are shifting away from new construction and toward retrofits of existing space. Under that plan, stores will require about$400,000 to $500,000in investment — half the cost of a new stand-alone building.

Each store will employ about 20 to 30 people. Company guidelines suggest franchisees should possess a minimum net worth of $500,000 and liquid assets of at least $250,000 per unit.

Read more at: St Louis Business Journal 

Related Story at Dunkin’ Donuts Sweetens to St Louis Again Under New Plan