Donut Man closes North Street shop

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PITTSFIELDThe Donut Man restaurant on North Street has closed after that eatery and two Dunkin' Donuts restaurants in Pittsfield were sold to a Methuen-based group that has ties to the regional Dunkin' Donuts chain.

Cafua Realty Trust CXXVII LLC, which is associated with Cafua Management of Methuen, purchased the three doughnut shops for a combined $4.5 million, according to documents filed at the Middle Berkshire Registry of Deeds. The firm purchased the Donut Man for $1 million; the Dunkin' Donuts on First Street for $1.5 million; and the Dunkin' Donuts on Dalton Avenue for $2.5 million, according to registry documents. The sale closed on Monday.

The Donut Man on North Street has apparently closed for good. A sign that stated, "The Donut Man has closed. Thank you for all your business and support — The Management" was taped to the front door.

Mark Cafua, the manager of Cafua Realty Trust CXXVII LLC, did not return a telephone call seeking comment. Cafua Management is the largest franchisee network in the Dunkin' Donuts system with more than 320 restaurants in seven states. The firm owns the majority of Berkshire County's eight Dunkin' Donuts restaurants.

The Donut Man's location on North Street was formerly a Dunkin' Donuts restaurant. Founded in 2002, The Donut Man is a much smaller chain that has two other stores, in Dalton and in Myrtle Beach, S.C. A fourth store in Hadley was recently sold to make way for a local Dunkin' Donuts franchise, according to the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

The Donut Man on North Street and the two Pittsfield Dunkin' Donuts shops were all owned by Joseph A. Santos and Maria F. Santos, the trustees of the Santos Realty Trust, according to registry documents. Santos is a businessman who is listed as either president, director, secretary, or treasurer of four separate Massachusetts business entities, Nilton & Adam Enterprises Inc., Pittsfield Donuts Inc., Russell Street Enterprises Inc., and Santos Donuts Inc., according to documents filed with the Secretary of State's office. Santos lives in South Carolina, and could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

In 2015, Cafua Management had proposed building a Dunkin' Donuts with a drive-thru area on the site of the former St. Mary the Morningstar Church on Tyler Street, but pulled its application last year following public opposition to the project.

In February, JFJ Holdings Inc., another entity associated with Cafua Management, filed plans with the city to build a 2,100-square foot Dunkin' Donuts with a drive-thru on the corner of Dalton Avenue and Harvard Street, a few hundred feet west of the current Dunkin' Donuts location on Dalton Avenue. The City Council approved the plan, albeit with several conditions, in March. The new restaurant will be located on land that is currently occupied by the former Royal Cleaners and two single-family homes. All three structures are scheduled to be demolished.

Business Editor Tony Dobrowolski can be reached at 413 496-6224.


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