Dunkin’ Donuts has opened a second location inside the Walmart Supercenter in Statesboro. Dunkin’ Donuts, the world's largest coffee-and-baked goods chain, began a partnership with Walmart more than a decade ago, placing stores in select Walmart stores. The store-within-a-Walmart concept has been very successful for Dunkin’ and they are now expanding the partnership into Statesboro.
Prominently positioned in the front of Walmart, the in-store Dunkin’ Donuts shop looks and feels just like a neighborhood Dunkin’ Donuts store. The store offers a full menu, complete with Dunkin’ Donuts legendary hot coffee. The menu includes lattes, cappuccinos, breakfast sandwiches and, of course, donuts. Shoppers and Wal-Mart associates will be able to take a break in a comfortable restaurant environment.
The two Dunkin’ Donuts franchises are owned locally by Tiku Shroff and managed by his son Neal Shroff and Daniel Bender who is their area general manager for Dunkin’. What is really more fascinating than the opening of a second store is the story of Tiku and his family.
Shroff immigrated to the United States to finish college in 1981. His uncle, ViJay Sheth, was living in the U.S. and sponsored him. His other uncle, Vik Sheth, lived in Statesboro and owned the Sub Station II which was located on the Blue Mile adjacent to Gnats, where the fish market is now.
Shroff enrolled at Georgia Southern and began working in his uncle’s sub shop. While attending college he met and married his wife Lisa, who is also a graduate of Georgia Southern and works as a nurse at East Georgia Regional Medical Center. Both of their children, Neal and Meredith, are graduates of Georgia Southern, too.
Six years after coming to the U.S., Shroff purchased Sub Station II in 1987. Shortly after, he acquired the Baskin Robbins franchise on Fair Road and operated both businesses until local businessman David Ball acquired the Sub Station II in 1993.
Dunkin’ Donuts corporately purchased Baskin Robbins in 1994 and offered Shroff the option of creating a combo store, which is still operating as a Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins combo on Fair Road.
Over the next three decades, Shroff has built or purchased 12 restaurant franchises. In addition to Dunkin’ and Baskin Robbins he has owned Popeye’s, Wild Wings and Larry’s Subs. Even Shroff struggles to remember all of the businesses he has bought and sold.
Currently, there are six restaurants operating in his portfolio. In Statesboro, he owns Dunkin’ Donuts in Walmart, Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins combo on Fair Road, which is operated by his son Neal and Popeye’s, which is managed by his daughter Meredith Flott.
In addition, he owns with partners the Dunkin’ Donuts Baskin Robbins Combo in Dublin, Wild Wings in Alpharetta, and Wild Wings in Macon.
And though Shroff doesn’t own it, Larry’s Giant Jersey Subs is owned and operated by his son-in-law Ron Flott.
Thanks to a lot of hard work, Shroff is truly living the American dream. He attributes his success to hard work, great local banks who were willing to take a chance on him and an amazing wife and family who have supported him with the long hours required to be successful.
“When my son Neal was 9 and my daughter Meredith was 6, I brought them to work with me at Dunkin’ during the summer,” Shroff said. “They both fell in love with business and serving people. They both, along with my son-in-law Ron, continue to work tirelessly serving the public and understands what it takes to be successful. I am very proud of them.”
“My wife Lisa has been my rock,” he said. “She never once complained about the long hours and challenges presented with starting and operating a businesses. Her incredible support was certainly an important part of our success. Also, Eagle Bank, who sold to Heritage, which became Renasant Bank and Sea Island Bank believed in me early and were willing to take a chance on financing our future.”
At 58, Shroff is looking towards the future. He hopes to continue expanding Dunkin’ Donuts in area Walmart stores and be ready to explore future opportunities as they arise. You will find him every morning in his original store on Fair Road greeting his customers and encouraging his employees. He understands nothing is possible without great employees and loyal customers.
They employee 45 in Statesboro alone. Most of their employees are students. Each employee experiences through Shroff and his family how the American Dream is still alive. If you’re willing to make huge sacrifices and work hard, anything is possible.
I have enjoyed watching this family working tirelessly in our community to not only build their success but to help make our community a great place to call home.
It will be exciting to watch and see what the future holds for this family.
Please email DeWayne at firstname.lastname@example.org.