Slam Dunk

Ben recently asked me how Dunkin’ Donuts got its name. Since it was founded a couple towns over in Quincy, Massachusetts, the South Shore of Boston is crawling with ’em. You can’t drive more than three blocks without running into one. His question was whether any one ever “dunks” donuts and, if so, what might they dunk them into? I told him that, yes, I occasionally dunk my donuts into beer.

It seems that people of a certain age actually remember when DD sold donuts with a little handle for dunking. One person told me it was almost like they took the hole and made it into a handle (it took me awhile but I found this picture). I’ve never dunked a donut into coffee. I wouldn’t want to ruin a perfectly good donut and I certainly wouldn’t want to ruin a perfectly good cup of coffee. Not that you’d really get one of those at Dunkin’ Donuts but I digress.

I was speaking with an older gentleman at (where else?) Coffee Hour this morning who grew up in Quincy. He remembers when the founder of Dunkin’ Donuts got his start. He told me he had a cart that he’d wheel up to the shipyard and get all the workers coming off their shift. Eventually it grew and he ran the business out of his garage. By the time he had a storefront he would get the donuts over there the day after they were made. So people started dunking the day-old donuts into their coffee and the name arose out of this. At least that’s what he told me.

Now I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone, anywhere actually dunk a donut into coffee. But I’ll keep my eyes peeled. There must be someone out there!


2 Comments on “Slam Dunk”

  1. I used to dunk — when I drank coffee and ate donuts. A generational thing? Do NOT answer that.

  2. I must be one of those people “of a certain age” because I remember the Dunkin’ Donut “dunkers,” which were the perfect complement to a cup of Dunkin’ coffee. Maybe Dunkin’ will bring them back “for a limited time” as part of “Retro Donut Week.” Maybe?…


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