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Dunkin' Donuts Faces Serious Backlash With New Store in West Covina

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There are plans to open up right next to longtime favorite Rainbow Donuts

Rainbow Donuts, West Covina
Rainbow Donuts, West Covina
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Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

West Covina residents are up in arms over a proposed new Dunkin’ Donuts, as the tight-knit community worries aloud about what will become of a different, local doughnut shop right next door.

NBC LA has news of the situation at South Hills Plaza shopping center in West Covina, where longtime Rainbow Donuts is worried that the national chain newcomer will put them out of business. Owner Sing Yam has been on site at the plaza for nearly 30 years, but sometime in 2017 a two-man team of Southern California franchisees plan to drop in a Dunkin’ Donuts right across the parking lot.

Yam is of course worried about the potential loss of business, what with the expanded brand recognition and large marketing budget of a place like Dunkin’ Donuts. What’s more: this new location will also house a Baskin Robbins, making the dual concepts more of a one-stop shop than the long-running Rainbow Donuts.

Still, members of the community are coming out to support Yam, even going so far as to sign a petition urging the city to take a second look at the inbound Dunkin’ Donuts. For its part, West Covina’s city manager says they can’t explicitly deny new businesses from opening up, though they were quick to point out to NBC LA that West Covina is a city primarily focused on small businesses. The owners of South Hills Plaza, which is reportedly only about half-full of tenants, sent along a statement saying that they believe both doughnut destinations can co-exist, and they they support growing and maintaining all of their retail clients.

So far, the upcoming Dunkin’ Donuts is still a ways off, and as one commenter apparently pointed out to NBC LA it’s not the first time that the national brand has opened up next to an existing local doughnut shop. It’s already happened in Whittier with JK Donuts, with the owner there telling NBC LA that Dunkin’ Donuts hasn’t hurt their business one bit, mostly because "our doughnuts are better."