HANFORD, Calif. (KFSN) --New business is brewing in the South Valley; Hanford residents woke up to the sweet smell of coffee and donuts at the grand opening of the Central Valley's first Dunkin' Donuts.
Owner and franchisee Aharon Aminpour said his plan is to open 17 stores from Modesto to Bakersfield. He said, while the economy is appealing, it's the community that drew him to the Valley.
"It's the people you notice here more than in northern and southern California, that in the Valley people really treat you like family."
The Hanford location has already created more than 75 jobs.
"There are a lot of hard working people here-- its coffee and food for the hard working men and women," said Aminpour.
Hanford City Manager Darrel Pyle said this opening filled the last vacancy on the outside of the Hanford Mall. He adds Dunkin' Donuts, Buffalo Wild Wings, Five Guys, and Pieology are just the beginning.
According to Pyle, the next wave of restaurants will be in the Costco Shopping Center.
"That is a 50 acre shopping center with 500,000 square feet in the works."
While he can't disclose names, Pyle said plans are in the works for four national chains to come within the next 12 to 18 months.
"We're easy to get to right on 198-- we just hit a population at about 57,000."
The city has been working closely with the Kings County EDC and the development community to attract retailers.
"We've got great opportunities on the retail and commercial side, and were building houses like they're going out of style," said Pyle.
As for vacancies within the mall, 80,000 square feet will be renovated and split into several smaller entities for national retailers. Construction is expected to start this summer.