In 1967, a sixteen-year-old Ed Wolak began his first job with Dunkin’, working as a porter alongside his mother and sister in Manchester, New Hampshire.
That simple part-time job was just the first step in a career with Dunkin’ that continues to grow alongside him fifty-five years later.
The Dunkin’ brand and all it had to offer inspired this young entrepreneur to build a company founded on family values with the mission of becoming a place that offered others the opportunity to begin a career and grow, as well.
Over the next several years, Ed earned Associates and Bachelors’ degrees in Business Management, worked his way up to management at Dunkin’, and met his future wife, Debbie, who was one of the donut finishers.
By 1975, Ed was ready to purchase his first Dunkin’ location, in Portland, Maine. By doing so, he took his first step toward building The Wolak Group.
Today, Ed Wolak is well-known and respected not only within the Dunkin’ community as an innovative restaurant operator but throughout the northeast as a commercial real estate developer, as well.
Ed built The Wolak Group on a set of core values: community, integrity, fairness, leadership, work ethic, and a commitment to always respect and value his employees. Values like these, which align so closely with the way we do business at Rich & Gardner, made us proud to partner with The Wolak Group on a recent project.
To learn more about The Wolak Group, Rich & Gardner, and the unique project on which we were pleased to work together, read on.
About The Wolak Group
A network of independent franchisees, The Wolak Group owns and operates 97 Dunkin’ locations in Maine, New Hampshire, and New York, and employs 1,950 people… with no plans to stop the momentum anytime soon.
The Wolak Group’s success as a developer and operator of Dunkin’ restaurants has been accompanied by a successful history of acquiring and developing commercial real estate. In 1983, The Wolak Group opened its first Dunkin’ restaurant located on “self-developed real estate” (i.e., real estate acquired, permitted, and constructed by The Wolak Group). Since then, most new Wolak Group-operated Dunkin’ restaurants have been opened on self-developed real estate.
Yet, despite the large scale of The Wolak Group’s success, the company’s primary focus remains the same: the employees. Although it is a big company, it still feels like that small, family-run business that Ed Wolak created so long ago.
Members of the company also take pride in giving back to the communities they serve and forging lasting relationships with customers, a hallmark of the brand in every community served. This dedication has earned The Wolak Group a strong reputation for social responsibility and community involvement, and as the business grows, so do its community commitments.
Recently, the Group has announced new partnerships while continuing to grow existing relationships with local and national charitable organizations. Additionally, the company has prioritized reducing its carbon footprint, reducing and re-channeling its waste stream, and becoming an innovative green, and sustainable business.
Rich & Gardner’s Approach
Every project we complete is unique and working with The Wolak Group is no exception, we have worked together on over 30 projects together.
Our team was contracted in 2017 to work on a particularly unconventional project: the first Dunkin’ location to open in Liverpool, NY — and a one-of-a-kind design for Dunkin’, created specifically to fit in with the character of the village.
Unlike other Dunkin’ locations, the facade features brick and stone, and there is covered outdoor seating in front of the building.
Our approach at Rich & Gardner is well-suited to such unique projects. We prioritize the vision our clients bring to the table, and we are experts at executing that vision in the most effective and cost-efficient way possible.
Working together as a team, we are able to organize and give our clients more say in the project, minimizing risks, and reducing the delivery schedule.
Our partners have come to realize that this process allows the owner, designer, and builder to work together as a team, resulting in a quality project for the lowest possible price. This in turn allows us to have our projects running smoothly, on time, and within budget.
For over 33 years, Rich & Gardner have remained committed to our projects from start to finish and beyond, bringing benefits of longevity, financial stability, and personal service to every project.
Of course, we always appreciate the opportunity to work with a partner like The Wolak Group, which truly balances community and growth.
Partner With Rich & Gardner
To learn more about Rich & Gardner’s expertise, and how we can apply our skills from initial conversation to final walk-through to achieve the best outcome for you, get in touch with us today.