Little General Stores Inc. plans to build Dunkin' Donuts stores in Beckley, Hurricane and Princeton over the next year, with more stores expected in coming years.
In April, Dunkin' Donuts and Little General Store Inc. signed an agreement to open three new locations in West Virginia.
Dunkin' Donuts is working to double its number of U.S. restaurant locations over the next 20 years.
While Little General has signed on for three locations so far, company president Greg Darby hopes to build many more over the coming years.
"We're going to look at Kanawha, Braxton, Nicholas and Fayette counties to develop and build stores," Darby said.
Darby said construction is already underway on the Beckley site, which is being remodeled from a former Steak Escape restaurant located next to an existing Little General convenience store. Since that Dunkin' Donuts location is simply a remodel, it will open first. Darby said the Beckley store to be open by the end of October. The Hurricane and Mercer stores have to be built from scratch, so they will take longer.
"I'm thinking it'll be the fall of 2014 before they're open," Darby said. "In the meantime, we'll be looking at sites in Kanawha and Cabell counties to develop."
Darby thinks the Kanawha County market can handle two Dunkin' Donuts stores, but said he won't know exactly how many stores he will decide to build in the county until he starts evaluating potential properties.
He said he has already located potential sites in other counties, but said he wants to hit the higher trafficked areas first.