Owners close doors at NC's oldest Dunkin' Donuts shop
Posted June 30, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.