Our HistoryEd Wolak with Dunkin' Donuts Founder, Bill Rosenberg
Ed Wolak began working in the Dunkin' Donuts business in 1967, when there was less than 250 Dunkin' Donuts restaurants in the entire country. He started out as a porter and later became a donut baker. While working as a baker, he earned a B.S. in Business Management at Southern New Hampshire University. After graduating in 1974, Ed took a management position at a Dunkin Donuts in Nashua, New Hampshire, and he was quickly promoted to General Manager for three locations. It was not long before he began looking for an opportunity to purchase his own store.
In 1975, Ed purchased his first Dunkin' Donuts restaurant in Portland, Maine and created what is today The Wolak Group. Over the next several years, The Wolak Group concentrated on developing stores in Maine and New Hampshire, and in 1998 expanded its development activities to Central New York. Today, The Wolak Group and its affiliates own and operate more than 70 Dunkin' Donuts restaurants in Maine, New Hampshire and New York, as well as a 21,000 square foot automated central production facility in Syracuse, New York. The central production facility produces and delivers donuts and other baked goods to our restaurants everyday, and currently has the capacity to supply up to 120 stores.
The Wolak Group's success as a developer and operator of Dunkin' Donuts restaurants has been accompanied by a successful history of acquiring and developing commercial real estate. In 1983, The Wolak Group opened its first Dunkin' Donuts restaurant located on "self-developed real estate" (i.e., real estate acquired, permitted, and constructed by The Wolak Group). Since then, most of our new Dunkin' Donuts restaurants have been opened on self-developed real estate. Most of these sites are stand-alone Dunkin' Donuts, although several of our sites include multi-tenant buildings.
The Wolak Group works hard to support fundraising activities in the communities we serve. Furthermore, while the company is rapidly expanding, The Wolak Group is also a major contributor to numerous charities and non-profit organizations, donating money back to the Maine, New Hampshire and New York communities they serve coffee to each day.
A Message from Our CEO
The Wolak Group has earned a strong reputation for social responsibility and community involvement. As our business continues to grow, so do our community commitments.
In recent months, we've announced several new partnerships as we continue to grow existing relationships with local and national charitable organizations such as the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation, the Make-A-Wish Foundation® (Chapters: Central New York & Maine), the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals and many more. We have also formed relationships with multiple cutting edge companies to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce and re-channel our waste stream, and become an innovative "green" and sustainable business.
The Wolak Group continues to be guided by the diverse perspectives and backgrounds of our more than 1,000 Wolak Group team members. Our longstanding record of community involvement and corporate social responsibility is a source of pride for our team and a hallmark of our brand in every community we serve.
President & CEO
The Wolak Group's affiliated entities include: ESW Realty, LLC, Kimco Realty, LLC, CNY Realty, LLC, Thomaston Realty, LLC, Java Realty, LLC, Saturn Associates, Inc., Gorham Distribution, LLC, Syracuse Foodservice Group, LLC, Upstate Foodservice Group, LLC, Oswego Foodservice Group, LLC, Rochester Foodservice Group, LLC, CNY Foodservice Group, LLC, Watertown Foodservice Group, LLC, Thomaston Foodservice Group, LLC, and CNY Commissary, LLC.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Ed founded The Wolak Group in 1975 and has 43+ years experience in the Dunkin' Donuts business, as well as extensive experience as a developer of commercial real estate. He is well known and respected in the Dunkin Donuts community, as evidenced by the various positions he holds (or has held) and honors he has received. Ed's current appointments/elected positions include: elected member of the Brand Advisory Council for Dunkin' Brands; Co-Chairman of the Dunkin' Donuts Development Advisory Steering Committee; Chairman of the Southern Maine Franchise Owner District Council; Northeast Dunkin' Donuts Advisory Council delegate; Ad Committee member; member of the Store of the Future Subcommittee; and member of the Executive Committee of Mid-Maine CPL (the first cooperatively owned central bakery facility in the Dunkin' Donuts system). In 2005, Ed served as a member of the G-6 Committee, which consisted of six Dunkin' Donuts franchisees chosen to represent franchisees' interests ahead of the sale of Dunkin' Brands to three private equity firms). He also has been honored to receive numerous awards from Dunkin' Brands, including the Dunkin' Brands Retail Excellence Award for 2000 and the Dunkin' Brands Developer of the Year Award for 2010. Ed earned a B.S in Business Management (with a minor in Finance) at Southern New Hampshire University in 1974.
Vice President and General Counsel
Dan joined The Wolak Group as its General Counsel in January of 2010. Prior to joining The Wolak Group, Dan was a partner at Pierce Atwood, LLP (a 125+ attorney firm headquartered in Portland, Maine), where he had represented The Wolak Group for more than eleven years. He has extensive experience in representing franchise owners in all aspects of their business, including business and franchise acquisition, financing, real estate acquisition, leasing and development. Dan earned a B.B.A. in Finance, magna cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame in 1990 and a J.D., cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1994. He is admitted to practice in Maine and New York.
Chief Operating Officer & Franchise Owner
As Ed Wolak's daughter, Kim grew up in the Dunkin' Donuts business, and she became a franchise owner in 2000. She specializes in brand development, operations management, and direct to consumer marketing and sales. Prior to rejoining The Wolak Group in 2010, Mrs. Garrett managed specialty optic filter sales and rental in the film industry in Los Angeles, then honed her skills in brand development and direct sales management in the wine industry, based in Napa and Malibu, CA. Kim reports directly to the CEO of The Wolak Group, serves as a member of the Maine DMA (Designated Marketing Area) Ad Committee and is a member of the Maine Franchise Owner District Advisory Council.
Vice President of Operations and Franchise Owner — Southern New York Division
Tom joined The Wolak Group in 1990 as a Store Manager, and was soon promoted to General Manager of our New Hampshire Division. In 2006, He became a franchise owner and Director of Operations of The Wolak Group's Southern New York Division. Tom specializes in operations and people development, as well as overseeing construction of new sites and remodels. In 2005, Tom completed the build-out of our Central Production Facility in Syracuse, New York. He is an elected Co-Chairman of the North Central Regional Advisory Committee for Dunkin' Brands and Co-Chairman of the Syracuse DMA (Designated Marketing Area) Ad Committee. Tom also serves on the Marketing Steering Committee and Innovation Task Force for Dunkin' Brands.