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Dunkin’ Franchisee Shares the 55-Year History Behind His Family Business

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By Jessica Shock

Anthony D’Amore has been a Dunkin’ franchisee since 1997, but the brand was part of his life for as long as he can remember. His parents George and Lesleigh D’Amore opened one of the first New Jersey Dunkin’ locations in 1968, the same year he was born. “So many of my childhood memories involve the sounds, smells, and sights of the restaurant.”

The family business was an all-hands-on-deck operation, where the D’Amores worked tirelessly to make their guests happy. Anthony’s inspiration came from watching his parents’ passion and drive. “My mom and dad worked hard serving quality products and creating loyal guests who came back every day with a smile,” he said. “I was hooked by the fast pace and the connections we made in the neighborhood.”

Anthony’s first job at his parent’s Dunkin’ started in high school as a porter. After proving himself, he got the chance to learn donut finishing and baking skills, later becoming a shift leader and then manager.

While studying business at Boston University, Anthony would return home during holiday breaks to work at the restaurant. After graduating, he spent a short time with a major insurance group in New York City but was drawn back to the family business. “It was so much a part of my DNA – I realized I wanted to make my mark,” he said. “No time was wasted; I learned a lot about effective teams and was able to apply that to strengthening the five restaurants we had at the time.”

Everything changed in 1997 when Anthony had the opportunity to attend Dunkin’ University to learn more about the inner workings of the brand on his way to becoming a franchisee. “It was a special time for my family as we moved into our second generation in the same business,” he beamed.

But the best moment came 22 years later, when Anthony’s own son, Nicholas, also became a franchisee in 2019. Anthony’s family now operates NATC Donuts, Inc., with Anthony at the helm as Chief Executive Officer alongside son Nicholas as Chief Operating Officer. Today, they own and operate 20 Dunkin’s throughout New Jersey and have a strong team that includes five Multi-Unit Leaders and 20 Restaurant Managers.

For Anthony, one of his favorite things about being a business owner is supporting the communities around his restaurants. “I have a relationship with police, fire, and emergency teams in each town where we operate. We try to support them in any way we can,” he said.

Additionally, Anthony has served on several important committees for the Dunkin’ brand, including a chairman position for the New York advertising committee. “Our franchisee community feels supported by the brand,” he noted. “They really listen to us as the experts on the ground and care about our insights.”

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