Local News

Owners close doors at NC's oldest Dunkin' Donuts shop

Posted June 30, 2014

Dunkin' Donuts, at 1801 Capital Boulevard, closed its doors June 30, 2014, after 46 years of providing doughnuts and coffee to Raleigh.

— After more than 46 years in business, North Carolina's oldest Dunkin' Donuts stand-alone store closed its doors Monday afternoon.

Groover and Joyce Blitch opened the Raleigh mainstay, at 1801 Capital Blvd., Oct. 13, 1967, when the cost of a doughnut was just 10 cents.

The couple, now in their 70s, says they the time was just right to close the shop, which through the decades remained a mom-and-pop operation.

"There's a time and a place for everything under the sun, according to the Bible, and I think it’s time to go ahead and look for another endeavor," Groover Blitch said.

Another factor in the decision, the Blitches said, is that the store is in a flood zone and can't be expanded. Renovating to new codes and store standards is also too expensive.

Longtime customers, who say the business was more than a doughnut shop, packed into the shop all weekend to say goodbye to those who've served them and several generations of the same families.

"It's the people," said Mike Earp, a nearby business owner who visited nearly every day. "They are great people. We've become friends with the owners and employees, and it's heartbreaking."

As for what's next for the Blitches, they say that's yet to be determined, but they expect they will do a lot of work with their church.


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  • kilnntime Jun 30, 2014

    OG, the government isn't being arbitrary here. Construction and other property changes in a flood zone can create issues for neighboring properties. The regulations are there so that everyone is treated fairly. This is a perfect example of what government regulations are for.

    In my experience, no-government nudniks whine about regulations until they need them. Then their tunes change, at least for the regulations that favor them.
    Read more at http://www.wral.com/share/page/1896337/?id=13776058#IAydq1BDDYlfRfZG.99

    The flood zone regulations do and more than likely did change in the years the business has been located there. It may of been built with no regulations and then had them imposed which is what government does, an expansion would require going by todays regulations not what was in effect in "67" So yes , too much government is a problem and odds are while they have decided its a flood zone , it may of never flooded there and may never .

  • Mike Kallam Jun 30, 2014
    user avatar

    Have known them for a long time through church and the business. Great people and business. Great supporters of the community. It is surely a loss for our city to see them go..

  • jmoxley2010 Jun 30, 2014

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Greg Boop Jun 30, 2014
    user avatar

    What a shame. Sorry to see this long standing Dunkin' Donuts close.

  • "Screen Name-8/20" Jun 30, 2014

    Awww, sorry to see them go, but the truth is, few of the businesses at that part of Capital Boulevard should have been allowed to build there in the first place.

  • RAA0013 Jun 30, 2014

    I went there many times when I worked nearby. Thank you to them for being there and good luck on your next adventure.

  • Jackson Smith Jun 30, 2014
    user avatar

    The nicest folks worked there and would make any donut you wanted unlike many of the Dunkin stores.

  • Earth Brooks Jun 30, 2014

    Another old Raleigh landmark goes away. Used to go there early in the morning with my dad when we were on the way to the farmer's market. Back when Capital Blvd was still called North Blvd. For lunch I'd run up to the old round Hardee's at the intersection of North Blvd and Hodges St.

  • Classified Jun 30, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Which doughnut taste better is a matter of opinion only. No need to be rude, just congratulate these folks for their success through the years.

  • Hippy_mom Jun 30, 2014

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    Be nice. These folks were a staple in Raleigh. Anyone can sell donuts, but not everyone can make people feel welcome.