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Latin American Licensee Drives Long-Term Growth with Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins

The international development of Inspire remains a key element of its vision to boost the growth of its brands. With an established and growing global presence, international licensees are an integral part of realizing this vision. Columbia licensee Miguel Merino began his journey of operating Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins stores over 40 years ago and hasn’t looked back since.

Born in Colombia in 1942 into a family of coffee exporters, Merino eventually moved to Massachusetts at age 39 to attend MIT and soon noticed the growing number of Dunkin’ stores surrounding him.

Given his family’s deep roots in the coffee business, Merino quickly approached Dunkin’s head office to begin his licensing career. After several conversations with the Dunkin’ teams, Merino obtained the Master license for Colombia, the first of its kind in Latin America.

Miguel Merino

In 1982, with the help of his stepfather and brother, Merino founded Donucol, operating the first Dunkin’ restaurants in Colombia. Thirteen years later, in 1995, Donucol acquired its first Baskin-Robbins locations.

The Inspire leadership team traveled to Colombia last week to meet with the National Federation of Coffee Growers (FNC) and Equal Origins to learn more about the challenges facing women in coffee. During the trip, they also had the chance to meet Miguel Merino and learn more about his journey as a licensee and his business in Colombia.

From left to right: Mauricio Gomez Rumio (Director of Operations, Donucol), Pancho González (VP-International Americas, Dunkin’), Michael Haley, Miguel Merino and Rosa Helena Rodriguez Dominguez (Quality Assurance Manager, Donucol)

“We are proud of the role Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins plays in bringing energy, joy and flavor to the lives of customers across Colombia,” said Michael Haley, President and CEO of International for Inspire Brands. “An experienced operator and restaurant chef, Don Miguel’s business philosophy of enthusiasm, responsibility and honesty has been key to the success of the Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins brands in the marketplace. We look forward to working with the entire Donucol team to support their continued success for years to come.

Miguel Merino and Paul Brown, CEO of Inspire Brands

Over the past 40 years, Donucol has grown to encompass 191 Dunkin’ stores and 14 Baskin-Robbins stores across Colombia. Today, Donucol is present in nine major Colombian cities: Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla, Palmira, Manizales, Armenia, Pereira and Ibague.

Donucol remains a family business, with Merino’s three daughters now holding senior positions including Managing Director, Marketing and Communications Director and Administrative Director. The company employs more than 1,200 team members across the country.

Learn more about Inspire’s international growth.

Rodney N.

The author Rodney N.