skip to main content
article photo


Latin American Licensee Drives Long-Term Growth with Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins

Reporters are welcome to use Inspire Stories material. If you have any questions, please contact us at
By Kendra Rhim

Inspire’s international development remains a key component of its vision to supercharge the growth of its brands. With an established and growing global presence, international licensees are an integral part of bringing this vision to life. Miguel Merino, a licensee in Colombia, began his journey of operating Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins stores more than 40 years ago and hasn’t looked back since.

Born in Colombia in 1942 to a family of coffee exporters, Merino eventually relocated to Massachusetts when he was 39 years old to attend MIT and quickly noticed the growing number of Dunkin’ stores surrounding him.

Given his family’s deep roots in the coffee business, Merino soon contacted the Dunkin’ headquarters to begin his licensing career. After several conversations with the Dunkin’ teams, Merino obtained the Master License for Colombia – the first of its kind in Latin America.

Miguel Merino

In 1982, with help from his father-in-law and brother, Merino formed Donucol, operating the first Dunkin’ restaurants in Colombia. Thirteen years later in 1995, Donucol acquired their first Baskin-Robbins locations.

Inspire’s leadership team visited Colombia last week to meet with the National Federation of Coffee Growers (FNC) and Equal Origins to learn more about challenges facing women in coffee. During the trip, they also had a chance to meet with Miguel Merino and learn more about his journey as a licensee and his business in Colombia.

Left to right: Mauricio Gomez Rumio (Operations Manager, Donucol), Pancho González (VP-International Americas, Dunkin’), Michael Haley, Miguel Merino, and Rosa Helena Rodriguez Dominguez (Head of Quality Assurance, Donucol)

“We are proud of the role Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins plays bringing energy, joy, and flavor to the lives of guests across Colombia,” said Michael Haley, President and Managing Director of International for Inspire Brands. “An experienced operator and restaurant leader, Don Miguel’s business philosophy of enthusiasm, responsibility, and honesty have been key to the success of Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins brands in the market. We look forward to working with the entire Donucol team to support their continued success for years to come.”

Miguel Merino and Inspire Brands CEO Paul Brown

Over the past 40 years, Donucol has grown to encompass 191 Dunkin’ and 14 Baskin-Robbins stores across Colombia. Today, Donucol has a presence in nine major Colombian cities: Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla, Palmira, Manizales, Armenia, Pereira, and Ibague.

Donucol remains a family operation with Merino’s three daughters now holding leadership positions, including general manager, marketing and communications manager, and administrative manager. The company employs more than 1,200 team members across the country.

Read more about Inspire’s international growth.