- Associated Press - Monday, January 9, 2017

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Doughnuts, anyone? New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is adding to his list of local food and beverage businesses, this time partnering with Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee Vik Patel to open new locations across Louisiana.

The partnership has agreed to open as many as 69 stores in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Monroe and Alexandria over coming years, according to a news release.

Drew has proven his commitment to New Orleans - both on and off the field - and we couldn’t ask for a better partner to help expand Dunkin’ Donuts’ presence in Louisiana,” Patel said in the release.

The partnership, which also includes former New York Giants offensive lineman and FOX Sports broadcaster David Diehl, will co-own five existing Dunkin’ Donuts locations in Louisiana and plans to open a new store this year. The release did not provide details on a timeline or locations for new store openings.

A Dunkin’ Donuts spokeswoman did not immediately return a request for comment.

Patel is chief executive of Tampa, Fla.-based Purple Square Management, which operates nearly 46 Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins locations in the Southeast as well as The Brass Tap and Popeyes franchises.

Dunkin’ Donuts stores in Kenner and Gonzales and a shared Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins location in Chalmette are listed as “coming soon” on Purple Square’s website. The site did not list any locations planned in Orleans Parish.

The local Dunkin’ Donuts partnership is the latest in a list of food investments for Brees. The star quarterback also co-owns local Jimmy John’s sandwich franchises. In 2015, Brees and his wife, Brittany, became partners in Walk-On’s Enterprises, which operates nine restaurants in Louisiana and has locations planned in Alabama, Florida, Texas, Mississippi and Tennessee.

Dunkin’ Donuts, started in Quincy, Mass. in 1950, has more than 12,000 restaurants worldwide, including 12 franchises located in Louisiana.

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Information from: The Times-Picayune, https://www.nola.com

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