Multitaskin’ Marvin
Entrepreneurial whirlwind Marvin Kaplan is reinventing Dunkin’ Donuts—and more.

By Bob Andelman

Marvin Kaplan is just one man, even if sometimes it seems that he must be in more than one place at a time.

“I like to stay busy,” says the businessman, whose current activities include developing Devonshire Park, a community of million-dollar single-family homes in downtown Sarasota; redeveloping Linger Lodge RV Resort and Restaurant and the former J.P. Igloo site in Manatee County; owning five strip centers in Sarasota County; publishing eight books of prayers written by the late Pope John Paul II; and developing 10 new Dunkin’ Donuts franchise stores along the Gulf Coast.

Hmm, better check the notes. Something seems to be missing from that list.

Oh, of course. Kaplan has applied to Dunkin’ Brands, the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts, to be among the first franchisees it licenses to bring doughnuts and coffee to China, possibly in time for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

The local media jumped on Kaplan’s interest in China somewhat prematurely; several existing U.S. franchisees are competing for Chinese territories, as are potential Chinese franchisees. But make no mistake. Kaplan is considered a strong contender.

“We had a conversation with Marvin and his partners,” says Jon Luther, chairman and chief executive officer of Dunkin’ Brands in Canton, Mass. “They’re serious, very legitimate and very much under consideration to enter China. We’re doing our research now to be sure we enter in the right way with the right partners. We continue to advance his interest. He is a serious contender, has strong partners and is well-financed. And Marvin is making a personal commitment.”

What is it about Marvin Kaplan and doughnuts?

Keep reading!