Boston Kremes in Bernardston?
Sandri could host Dunkin’ Donuts in Sunoco station
xA special permit to add a Dunkin’ Donuts to the Church Street Sunoco station in Bernardston, owned by the A.R. Sandri Co., was unanimously approved Tuesday by the Zoning Board of Appeals. Recorder/David Rainville
BERNARDSTON — The town’s lone gas station could be selling doughnuts and coffee by the time fall rolls around.
The A.R. Sandri Co., which owns and operates the Sunoco station on Church Street, seeks to renovate the gas station’s building to accommodate a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise.
“If we obtain the necessary permits, it could open in mid- to late-summer,” said Michael Behn, chief operating officer for Sandri.
Due to the town’s center village zoning regulations, the Dunkin’ Donuts would not include a drive-through. Behn said most of the building’s modifications will be interior, as the building is sectioned off, most of it for the coffee shop, with the eastern side saved for fuel attendants.
The building will be renovated, said Behn, but it will retain the same footprint, and the exterior will be designed to fit the character of the town’s center.
“There will be minimal branding on the building,” said Behn. He said site work will also be minimal. The canopy over the gas station’s four pumps would remain unchanged, and the lot already has adequate parking for the shop.
Behn said a doughnut shop right off the interstate could benefit nearby merchants.
“The presence of a Dunkin’ Donuts, especially if it puts a ‘food services’ sign on the interstate, will pull in more traffic that will help nearby businesses,” said Behn.
Though 11 South Bakery is close to the Sunoco, Behn doesn’t think a Dunkin’ Donuts will lure away its customers.
“This kind of baked goods wouldn’t compete with a high-end bakery. I don’t think it will compete with the Country Corner store (next door), either. In fact, the Corner Store will probably benefit from it.”
Behn said the Dunkin’ Donuts would not be run by Sandri. Instead, Sandri will lease the space to franchisee Kcmc Management of Leominster.
If the project goes forward, said Behn, the Sunoco would remain open for fuel throughout construction. He also assured that the station would remain full-service, an amenity customers have gotten used to.
Behn said Sandri has a good working relationship with Bernardston. In addition to the gas station, the company also owns and operates the Inn at Crumpin-Fox on Church Street, and the Crumpin-Fox Club, an 18-hole golf course on Parmenter Road. It also owns a large field next to the inn, which is often used by the town and other local groups for events. Sandri also owns the building which, until January, hosted Bella Notte Ristorante. Behn said Sandri would like to sell or lease the building to another restaurateur.
The Zoning Board of Appeals will hold a public hearing on Sandri’s proposal at 7 p.m. April 25, in Town Hall.