Chelmsford is to be among the first places in Britain to get a new Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant as part of the American coffee shop brand’s return to the UK market after an absence of 20 years.

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The first of the new restaurants opened at Harrow, in north London, last month and the Chelmsford outlet, due to open at 13-14 Moulsham Street in mid-February, will be the first outside of the capital.

It will be the first of more than 20 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants to be operated under a franchise deal between the brand’s United States-based owners and the UK-based Court Group, which is chaired by Suffolk businessman and former Ipswich Town FC chairman David Sheepshanks.

Mr Sheepshanks said yesterday: “Dunkin’ Donuts is an international brand with a long history, and we are excited to be part of the official launch of Dunkin’ in the UK.

“We look forward to bringing Dunkin’ Donuts’ famous high-quality food and drink to local people in Chelmsford and beyond.”

The other towns and cities where Court Group-operated Dunkin’ Donuts franchises are due to follow later this year include Cambridge.

Dunkin’ Donuts, which is based in Canton, Massachusetts, is one of the world’s leading baked goods and coffee chains, with nearly 11,000 restaurants in 33 countries world-wide.

Besides doughnuts, its restaurants serve a wide range of hot and iced beverages, including Dunkin’ Donuts’ Original Blend Coffee and tea, as well as an assortment of breakfast and all-day sandwiches, baked goods and other snacks.

It announced that it was returning to the UK last year, having abandoned a previous attempt to break into the market in the mid-1990s, and is tailoring its offer to British tastes with a menu including sausage butties, bacon butties and porridge

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