Dunkin Donuts Dark RoastDunkin’ Brands Group Inc., Canton, Mass., announced that its Dunkin’ Donuts cafes are expanding into the West Coast, beginning with two locations in Modesto and Santa Monica, Calif. The new restaurants offer the full Dunkin' Donuts menu of beverages, sandwiches and baked goods, the company says.

The opening of Dunkin' Donuts' Modesto and Santa Monica restaurants is part of a larger plan to open approximately 200 new restaurants in California during the next several years. The company plans to open more than 1,000 restaurants in total throughout the state in the long-term, it says.

"Today we continue to celebrate our highly anticipated expansion to California, starting with the opening of our new restaurants in Modesto and Santa Monica," said Paul Twohig, president of Dunkin' Donuts U.S. and Canada as well as Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Europe and Latin America, in a statement. "Californians have eagerly and enthusiastically awaited Dunkin' Donuts' arrival, and we are proud to bring our high-quality beverages and baked goods as well as the fast and friendly service we're famous for to the state."

Dunkin' Donuts' Modesto restaurant is owned and operated by Sizzling Donuts LLC, an experienced Dunkin' Donuts operator with restaurants throughout the West. The franchise group has signed a multi-unit store development agreement to open 46 stores in the Sacramento metro area. The Santa Monica location is owned and operated by existing Dunkin' Donuts franchisee Gary Haar and his business partner Steve Silverstein. The two will develop 10 restaurants in total throughout Los Angeles County.

In collaboration with the company’s westward expansion, it also is launching a new Rainforest Alliance Certified Dark Roast coffee, which uses a special roasting process to bring out key characteristics of different beans, creating a bold flavor and the smooth finish associated with Dunkin' Donuts' Original Blend but without the bitterness typically associated with dark roast coffees, the company says. The coffee made its debut at its new California restaurants in Modesto and Santa Monica. It will be released at participating Dunkin’ Donuts locations nationwide Sept. 22.

"Dark Roast represents possibly the most dramatic expansion of our coffee portfolio since we introduced espresso beverages a decade ago," said John Costello, president of global marketing and innovation for Dunkin’ Brands, in a statement. "As we continue our national expansion and introduce our brand to millions of new guests, many of whom enjoy a darker roast coffee, this new launch is a big step in our growth and reinforcing our position as a coffee leader and the brand offering one of the largest varieties of coffee choices for busy, on-the-go people."

The new Dark Roast coffee can be served hot or iced. It also will be available for sale for brewing at home in both packaged coffee and K-Cup pack formats, for use with Keurig brewing systems.

The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal indicates that Dunkin' Donuts' new Dark Roast is made with at least 30 percent coffee beans sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.

For more information, visit www.dunkindonuts.com.