How the Lemos Family Successfully Owns and Operates the Moss Park Dunkin’ Donuts
One of the great things about Lake Nona and the surrounding areas (aka The Nonahood) is that they are filled with residents who have lived here for quite a long time as well as newcomers. Each brings their own perspective. The old-school Nonahood residents fondly remember the days when things were quieter, less developed, and are at times skeptical about the current rapid change. The newcomers think of how the area they now call home is a different and exciting place to be, and in many ways is an improvement from where they once lived. For the Lemos family (Larry, Sonia, Nina and Tyler), they have the unique perspective of being on both sides – as residents and business owners.
“Yeah, I remember it well. It was a difficult time because we owned stores (Dunkin Donuts) in New England and I would fly down here and have a couple meetings with brokers and travel the trade areas… Our first store (in Florida) actually was a Dunkin’ in a Hess gas station. That was back in 2005 and ’06. I would fly back and forth, and manage and operate that. Eventually we turned to this trade area… Lake Nona. It wasn’t considered Lake Nona (then), it was just Narcoossee Road… We are happy we chose Lake Nona to be the place we built our 2nd location 2007 it was the 400th store built in Florida. We love Lake Nona because we call it home. Although growth means competition we firmly believe our service will set us apart. We opened the business in August of 2007 and it felt like a ghost town. I remember the traffic count being about 14,000 cars a day (on Narcoossee Rd.), but after we started looking more into what Lake Nona was to become, we realized that the store would grow over time,” said Larry.
There probably isn’t a single Nonahood resident who hasn’t been to the Moss Park Dunkin’ Donuts. Seriously, think about it. It is truly a staple of this community. There are many reasons for that, including the quality brand of Dunkin’ Donuts, but it also was the only place – other than a gas station in the Nonahood – to get a quick cup of coffee and breakfast on your way to work. Even though the population of Lake Nona has grown tremendously since August 2007 and similar types of restaurants and eateries have been established, the care and quality in which the Lemos family takes in operating the Moss Park Dunkin’ Donuts makes it a popular place to this day.
“Yeah, it’s been great. The store is healthy and doing well. We give credit to the community. We want people to understand we love what we do. We love our employees. We have eight stores, and all of our managers have been promoted (from within). They’ve climbed the ladder,” said Larry.
The Lemos family is a bit unique as Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owners when compared with some of the others. Locally owning eight franchises allows them to pay close attention to important values such as food safety, quality employees and customer service. Many other franchise owners might own different types of franchises, as well as own a larger quantity, in the tens and even the hundreds. The Lemos family explained that, even though these franchise groups are more wealthy, the attention to detail is different than a family who has the time and ability to closely manage each location.
Being Nonahood residents themselves, the Lemos family has the ability to give back to the community in which they live. Over the past seven years, the Moss Park Dunkin’ Donuts has donated more than 25,000 donuts to the very popular Pig Run, held annually in Northlake Park, that donates thousands of dollars to local charities like the Dunkin’ Donuts Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation. Many times, the Lemos family is up at 1 a.m. the day of the race making donuts and preparing their distribution.
“We want to create a culture of serving and giving back as part of our business,” said Sonia.
The Lemos family has a strong and passionate kinship to the Dunkin’ Donuts brand and are constantly working on ways to improve. Their mission is that every customer that visits their locations gets the fast, friendly, and fresh product that has been at the core of success for Dunkin’ Donuts for many years.