Dunn Brothers Coffee

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Dunn Brothers Coffee
Founded1987; 37 years ago (1987) in St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
FounderEd and Dan Dunn
Number of locations
52 (2023)
  • Baked goods
  • Frozen beverages
  • Hot beverages
  • Iced beverages

Dunn Brothers Coffee is a franchise company of coffeehouses founded in St. Paul, Minnesota, in December 1987 by brothers Ed and Dan Dunn.[1] As of December 2023, Dunn Brothers Coffee has 52 locations in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin.[2]


The first store opened in 1987 at 1569 Grand Avenue in St. Paul,[3] after the Dunn brothers had driven an old Dodge van loaded with their belongings from Portland, Oregon, to Minnesota in search of a good, underserved location for a coffee business. They found a refurbished 1950s Probat roaster in Cincinnati, Ohio, and used it to set up that first store. The second location opened in Uptown Minneapolis in 1991 (and was temporarily the only location while the Grand Avenue store was rebuilt following a 1991 fire). The Grand Avenue store still exists as "Dunn Bros Coffee" but is not part of the Dunn Brothers Coffee franchise.

On July 25, 2022, Dunn Brothers Coffee announced that it was acquired by Gala Capital Partners, owner of Cicis Pizza and Mooyah.[4]

On July 10, 2023, Dunn Brothers Coffee appoints Scott Harvey as its new President. Previously holding roles at Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery, Einstein Bros. Bagels, and Black Rifle Coffee, Harvey brings a depth of knowledge in the restaurant and franchise space. In his role as President for Dunn Brothers, Harvey will take the helm of the brand's franchise development strategy, expanding its footprint in its existing Midwest and Great Plains markets, and beyond. With a new lens on franchising under Harvey's leadership, the brand will also implement its latest store prototype that includes a smaller footprint and a focus on drive-thru operations.[5]


The store's locations are primarily in the American Midwest, especially Minnesota, where there are 31 locations. As of 2021, the company has stores in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, 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.[6] This allows customers to buy freshly roasted whole beans. The in-store roasting and small batch sizes typically allow for the availability of 12-15 varieties of whole beans.

Dunn Bros partners with certifiers of sustainably grown coffee in the world including Fair Trade USA, and Rainforest Alliance.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Staff Report "Retailer Profile: Dunn Bros. Coffee", Tea & Coffee Trade Online, New York, 2007-07. Retrieved on 2010-08-28.
  2. ^ "Locations". Dunn Bros Coffee Shop Franchises. Retrieved 2021-08-26.
  3. ^ "History". Dunn Bros Coffee on Grand. Retrieved 2021-08-26.
  4. ^ Coley, Ben (25 July 2022). "Cicis Owner Buys 59-Unit Dunn Brothers Coffee". QSR magazine. Retrieved 26 December 2022.
  5. ^ "Dunn Brothers Coffee Names Scott Harvey President". QSR. 2023-08-01. Retrieved 2024-01-25.
  6. ^ 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
  7. ^ "Sourcing the Best Coffee". Dunn Brothers Coffee. Retrieved 2017-02-03.

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