Dunkin' Donuts will be returning to Minnesota about a decade after the last store closed in the state.
The Massachusetts-based chain has been recruiting franchise owners in Minnesota since the end of October, said Vice President of Franchising and Business Development Grant Benson.
"The entire state is open, we are franchising in all the TV markets in the state," Benson said. "It looks like our first opportunity may be in Rochester, we've already identified a franchisee there."
Benson said the process for opening a franchise location can take between 12 and 18 months. He expects the first Minnesota Dunkin' Donuts locations to open in late 2014.
The brand previously announced an expansion in the state in 2009. That never materialized.
"Over the course of the last 5-6 years, specifically, it's been a very methodical march east to west," Benson said. "As we went through the Upper Midwest a couple years ago, we specifically did not move into Minnesota -- there were a number of other markets we were pursuing -- we went past it and are coming back now."
There are about 10,500 Dunkin' Donuts restaurants in 31 countries, according to the company's website. Benson said the brand currently has a presence in between 39 and 41 states. A competitor, Krispy Kreme, made a failed attempt to break into the Minnesota market in the 2000s.