The Pine Brook Dunkin Donuts typically sees a steady stream of customers as the only coffee and donut chain store of its kind in Montville.
But in the days immediately following Superstorm Sandy, the store, located at 36 Route 46, became somewhat of a shelter for those seeking refuge from homes without power and looking for a place to plug in.
Franchisee and Owner Nita Panchal said in the three days immediately following the storm's landfall on Oct. 29, the store recorded four times the amount of sales than in an average week. The line of customers wrapped around the building, which also houses a mattress store and pizza restaurant. Inside, some customers sat for hours working on laptops after Panchal said power strips were plugged in to allow more people to charge up at once.
Not only was the seating area commonly full the week of the storm, but the store saw an increase in customers coming in for a product to take with them.
"We sold more than 500 cups of coffee," Kalpesh Patel, a manager of the store said.
Panchal also had to call in additional staff to help run the store. But the efforts of the employees were appreciated by patrons.
"They worked day and night to serve our community during the storm," Pine Brook resident Sarah Foye said.
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