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Dunn Bros Coffee is a franchise company of coffeehouses founded in St. Paul, Minnesota in December 1987 by Ed Dunn, who was inspired while attending college in Eugene, Oregon. He later established the franchise with his brother Dan. The first store was opened on Grand Ave. in St. Paul, Minnesota.[1] The second Dunn Brothers location opened in the Uptown Neighborhood of Minneapolis in 1991 (temporarily operated as the only location while the Grand Avenue store recovered from a 1991 fire).

Locations are primarily in the American Midwest, most notably in Minnesota, where there are 74 locations. In the last few years stores have also opened in Texas, Tennessee, Kansas, Nebraska and Wisconsin. Dunn Bros Coffee is a franchise and most stores are locally owned and operated. One distinguishing feature that separates Dunn Bros from most of its chain competitors is that at every traditional location, the coffee is roasted right in the store, usually on a daily basis[2]. This allows customers to buy beans in bulk that are freshly roasted. Three roast levels are often available, a medium Full City, a medium-dark Vienna Roast, and a dark French Roast, which either adds a smoky flavor to the bean (French Roast) or allows subtle nuances to be distinguishable (Full City roast). It should be noted that most other coffee roasters can produce about a dozen roast levels and many types of beans are considered over-roasted at Full City or French. The in-store roasting, and small batch sizes limit the variety of flavors typically available.

Typical cup

As of June 2006, Dunn Bros. was the 9th largest coffee company in the U.S., with 85 locations throughout the country.[3]


  1. ^ About Us | Dunn Bros Coffee Shop Franchises
  2. ^ Tanyeri, Dani: "Small Coffee Please: Can tiny-by-comparison chains exploit giant Starbucks' troubles to their advantage?" Restaurant Business 107:6 June 2008 p. 42
  3. ^ "The 10 largest coffee chains in the US" (PHP). Slash Food. 2006-06-11. Retrieved 2006-12-18. 

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