Capital Buzz: Washington is about to get a caffeine rush


Coffee cups sit in a dispenser at a Dunkin' Donuts store. The company plans to open 60 new locations in the Washington area in coming years. (Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg)
September 25, 2011

In five years, Washingtonians won’t be able to make it from the front door to the office elevator without bumping into a Dunkin’ Donuts for a caffeine fix.

The doughnut company, which went public earlier this year and is owned in part by the Carlyle Group, has begun a 60-store expansion in the Washington market in a push to grab some of the caffeine crowd from rivals such as Starbucks and McDonald’s.

Dunkin’ plans to boost its number of stores from its current 125 to nearly 200.

But does D.C. really need more coffee?

There’s lots of room for expansion, argued John Dawson, the donut, er, coffee company’s chief development officer.

“We are all about coffee,” said Dawson. “We are a beverage company through and through.”

He said the company loves D.C.’s market for its household income and its population density. But Dawson really gets a morning rush from the potential in the white-collar workforce looking for its caffeine buzz.

Compared with Philadelphia, which has 530 Dunkin’s feeding 7.9 million people, Washington’s 6.7 million only has 125 from which to feast.

In addition to traditional locations, the Donut company, which is emphasizing its new healthier food offerings like its “Egg White Veggie Wake-Up Wrap,” is looking to install kiosks in office buildings and drive-up stores in strip centers.

Dunkin’ already is everywhere from the Pentagon, FBI, Verizon Center and a slew of agencies from the Energy Department to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A lesson in expansion

Rockville-based Peer2Peer Tutors is growing.

Founder Erik Kimel, who started the company his senior year at Churchill High School in Potomac, is opening offices in New Jersey, Connecticut and North Carolina as well as a new online tutoring option.

Kimel finds top high school students to tutor customers, which range from kindergarteners to seniors in high school.

Peer2Peer has created more than 3,500 jobs, served more than 5,000 students, and provided more than 50,000 hours of tutoring services since its start in 2004 with a $50 stake by Kimel.

Peer2Peer expects revenue of nearly $1 million in the 2011-2012 school year. Kimel has no debt and no investors, and he funds all growth out of profits.

No mystery to this plot

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney money adviser Marvin McIntyrehas penned a novel called “Insiders.”

The big-time money man, whose grandfather was a city editor at The Washington Post and a personal secretary to FDR, drew on his 40 years in the investments business.

“All my life I wanted to write a book, but I couldn’t find a plot,” said McIntyre, who is rated by Barron’s as one of the best wealth advisers in the United States. “If you couldn’t find a plot in 2008 in my business, then you weren’t paying attention.”

The Buzz caught up with McIntyre after a busy week. He started it off at the Carlyle Group’s annual investor conference, then headed to Orlando for a Barron’s gathering of top money managers.

McIntyre used an independent pubisher to save him a couple of years in the editing process. The advice came from friend, bestselling author David Baldacci.

While we had McIntyre on the telephone, we couldn’t resist asking for some investing advice.

“Stocks are undervalued,” said the Potomac resident, who once had a 10-minute finance/sports spot on WTEM with Doc Walker.

The book’s proceeds are going to charity.

The Buzz hears:

Add Purpose Beverages, co-founded by Washington area entrepreneur Ian Simpson and his Los Angeles-based business partner Gerard Artavia, to the mix of businesses on a social mission.

 Their new brand of all-natural, organic iced teas, Tēvolution, donates 25 cents from the sale of every bottle to one of Purpose’s partner charities.

  They employ a Web- and mobile-based education program to promote their charity partners (including Jumpstart and Project Night Night), and source part of their donation from every supplier they work with.

Law firm Duane Morris is hosting a private equity conference Nov. 3 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on 22nd Street N.W. Christopher W. Kerseyof Camden Partners, Sameer Jainof UBS, Dara Castle of RSM McGladrey and Douglas Woloshin of Duane Morriswill discuss private equity liquidity events and review the current environment moderator. John Morrisof Dow Jones Investment Banker will moderate the program, which starts at 4 p.m.

Bethesda-based Consero Group, which creates high-level schmooze fests for senior corporate counsel executives, holds its first Customer Experience Forum next month in Palm Springs. Attendees learn TLC from several national companies, including Washington area names such as Coventry Health (Bethesda) and Rosetta Stone (Arlington).

Thomas Heath is a local business reporter and columnist, writing about entrepreneurs and various companies big and small in the Washington Metropolitan area. Previously, he wrote about the business of sports for The Post’s sports section for most of a decade.
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