Check It Out: Dunkin’ Donuts in 1984 Definitely Didn’t Have Cold Brew
In this fast-paced world of grab and go, the SouthCoast has learned to run on Dunkin’. The incredibly popular chain has evolved into an easily accessible source of caffeine and baked goods, catered towards busy moms, businesspeople on the go, and everyone in between.
Thanks to GBH Archives, we get a glimpse of what Dunkin’ looked like in the beginning, and it turns out it wasn’t always grab-and-go.
GBH Archives is a treasure trove of forgotten memories that provides access to unique and historically important content produced by the public television and radio station WGBH. They recently shared a throwback video of Dunkin' from 1984, when Donuts still followed the Dunkin’.
In 1950, William Rosenberg renamed his coffee shop Dunkin’ Donuts, giving birth to the popular chain with the goal of “making and serving the freshest, most delicious coffee and donuts quickly and courtesy in modern, well-merchandised stores.”
Rosenberg’s mission remains true today, but it’s safe to say that “modern” is a relative term, and as such, Dunkin’ Donuts in the ’80s is vastly different compared to Dunkin’ in 2022.
In the video, customers enjoy their morning cup of joe in a ceramic mug at a long counter. Imagine a communal countertop nowadays? It’s basically taboo. And those ceramic mugs have gone from everyday use to a nice option for a stocking stuffer on their product shelves.
If you listen carefully at the end of the video, you hear the employee ring up two coffees for $1.20. I’m embarrassed to admit that my Cold Brew Caramel Swirl is almost five dollars, a far cry from the prices 40 years ago.
One thing that has stood the test of time is the wall of baked goods proudly displayed on racks, the hustle and bustle of the workers, and the high demand for a good cup of coffee.
While the diner-style setting was popular in the ’80s, Dunkin’ continued to keep up with the times, and soon enough, the chain became what we know it as today: a one-stop-shop for all types of coffee equipped with high-tech screens, trendy menu items, and its own app.
While you enjoy this trip down memory lane, before cold brew and almond milk took over, rest assured that the SouthCoast will never be short of coffee, and hasn’t been for more than 70 years.