When you're thinking of a good place to try and sell a lot of caffeinated beverages, the State of Utah might not be the first location that springs to mind. Then again, you're not running Dunkin' Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN).

This morning, Dunkin' -- purveyor of everything from doughnuts to ice cream to coffee -- announced it has signed an agreement with its Sizzling Donuts, LLC, franchisee to expand operations in northern Utah, opening one new location this year, and adding seven new restaurants total over the next seven years.

Sizzling has franchise agreements in place to develop a total of 36 Dunkin' Donuts locations stretching from Salt Lake City to Denver to El Paso over the next several years. It's starting in Texas, where five of these restaurants are already up and running in El Paso, with two more under construction, and a total of eight expected to open by the end of this year. Now Sizzling is looking to focus more intently on expanding to the northwest, with the additional locations being contracted for in Utah.

And, as Sizzling works to open up the market there, Dunkin' itself is looking to capitalize. The company noted in its press release that "Dunkin' Donuts franchise opportunities in Utah are still available in Washington County."

Dunkin' Brands rose 0.4% in early Monday trading to circle $37 a share.


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