WILMINGTON – A controversial sign has been installed in front of the Dunkin’ Donuts currently under construction on East Main Street in Wilmington. After the town rejected an internally lit sign as well as a talking sign, the owners of the gas station that will house the popular chain constructed a sign that smells like donuts instead.
“Well, we want to be respectful of the residents,” said the developer, “and they don’t want to see or hear any signs. They don’t want light pollution or noise pollution. And we support that. But they never said anything about smell.” The sign emits a powerful donut smell that alternates between chocolate glazed, boston cream, and jelly scents throughout the day. The smell has a radius of about a quarter mile, and has been described as “overwhelming” by employees of the Family Dollar next door.
“It’s a little much,” says Don Otts, who passes the sign every day on his way to work. “I get that sight and sound are out, but I wish they had gone with something other than smell. Maybe taste? Like a sign you could lick? I think that would have been smarter.”
The developer maintains that they considered a flavored sign that customers could lick, but were afraid someone might actually eat the sign, and then they would need to begin the sign permitting process again.