HOLLYWOOD, Md.—For the first time in years, Leonardtown once again hosts a national franchise in its downtown area, once solely the province of locally owned and operated small businesses.
But town leaders were quick to point out last week that the opening of the new Dunkin' Donuts on Washington Street was a positive addition to the town's business family, since it too was operated by a local business owner.
Maria Icaza, not only heads up the new store but is a fund raiser for the local Special Olympics, a member of the Chamber of Commerce and a Rotary Club member.
"It's really serving the community well," she said of all the organizations she works with.
Scott Murphy, senior vice president for Dunkin' Donuts operations in the Unites States said that Icaza's work in Leonardtown made the opening of the new store a special occasion.
"We open about 500 stores a year," Murphy said. "But I made a special effort to be here because of a special person.
"We're a big company but we're locally owned by franchisees."
Numerous residents came out to the grand opening, including elected officials including Leonardtown Mayor Dan Burris, council member Roger Mattingly, Sen. Steve Waugh and Del. Matt Morgan.
Burris said later that there were concerns by some in the town's business community that having a franchise open up in the downtown, creating stiff competition for smaller proprietorships.
But he believed that the new store would be a good mix with the other businesses in town.
"It's been packed ever since it opened," Burris said during Monday's town council session. "It's really going to bring a lot to the downtown."
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