“My college buddy and I wanted to do something together,” Justin Sharbutt said. Sharbutt’s partner Brandt Stravlo is a veteran restaurateur, having just sold the Chimey’s in San Marcos. Chimey’s is a franchise sit-down eatery popular with the college crowd.
“Dunkin’ Donuts was listed among the top 5 best franchises in INC or Entrepreneur Magazine,” said Sharbutt. “So we put a package together and beat out the other groups for this territory.” It helped that Sharbutt, though a young 2007 graduate of Texas Tech with the business management degree, has experience in finance with several other successful companies he owned or started as well as real estate deals.
According to a Dunkin’ Donuts press release, the franchise is aggressively expanding in Texas, and Sharbutt and Stravlo won the west Texas market, from Amarillo to San Angelo. In all, Dunkin Donuts expects the duo to open eight traditional Dunkin’ Donuts locations, and three combination Dunkin’ and Baskin Robbins locations. Dunkin’ Donuts corporate says the build-out will have the first location open in 2014 and the last by 2019.
Sharbutt says they won’t be opening in San Angelo immediately. Their plan is to open two locations immediately in Lubbock and then expand to a next location every six months. That means should San Angelo be the first location outside Lubbock; it will take 12 to 18 months before the ground breaks.
The availability of real estate at a price point and location that makes sense for their business growth will be the determining factor of if the duo comes to San Angelo before Amarillo. “I was leaning towards Amarillo initially, but I’ve heard about all the activity happing in San Angelo, so we’re going to be looking really hard to open there next,” Sharbutt said.
“For the first two stores, we’re going to be in them, managing them and learning the business. We’re breaking ground in Lubbock within in a month or so,” Sharbutt said.
“Our goal is to know everyone by name. We want to be the essential on-the-way-to-work stop,” he said.
The company Sharbutt and Stravlo are operating under is called NIKNUD LLC. It spells “Dunkin” backwards.
Dunkin’ Donuts coffee is Sharbutt’s favorite product the franchise sells. “The coffee is what it’s known for,” he said.