Sunday, December 11, 2005

Your Friend Along the Way

Yesterday while driving to and fro attempting to tackle the various Saturday morning errands that seem to run my life, I noticed a long line up of idling cars patiently awaiting their turn to order their "double-double" and cruller fix for the day. Wait a minute, I thought. When did this Tim Horton's establishment open? I swear the last time I paid attention while passing this spot, it was a vacant piece of property. Like it rose from the ground overnight, there it was. A new Tim's, the 11th by my count, in a city of 60,000 people, has opened. Obviously it fills a need, given the caffeine converts snaking their way past the drive thru. Amazing.

Who knew that one day brown coffee cups would produce litter spread so evenly across our country? Who knew that the Canadian Identity would eventually be defined by hunks of fried dough? Who knew that the meeting centres in our communities would gravitate towards a coffee shop chain that has even sprouted up in villages and rural areas? Tim Horton and Ron Joyce may not have had the same life jolting dream as Ray Kinsella did in the novel Shoeless Joe Comes to Iowa, but they sure started with a good idea. A trip to Tim's is part of the Canadian fabric.

Here are some facts..................yes I began to perseverate on the phenomenon and looked up some dirt.....just thought that the next time you find yourself in the snake line at your local Tim's, you can ponder these Timbits............

  • First established in Hamilton Ontario in 1964, Tim Horton's has grown to over 2100 sites, including some in the United States.
  • In 1964, a cup of coffee cost 10 cents.
  • Tim's employs over 55,000 employees, including management and 800 franchise owners.
  • In 2003, Tim Horton's collected $5.5 million during their annual Camp Day.
  • There are 6 camps running across Canada (and one in Kentucky) that provide a wonderful camp experience for children who wouldn't ever have a chance to.
  • The term "double-double" made it into the Canadian Oxford Dictionary in 2004
  • Tim Horton's real name is Myles Gilbert Horton. "Timbits" sounds much better than "Mylesbits" don't you think?
  • Tim Horton, played for 22 seasons in the NHL. At the time of his death, he was playing for the Buffalo Sabres and was driving home from Toronto when he had his car accident.
  • In 2005, Donuts only represent 20% of the revenues.
  • You know that commercial about the retired couple who driving across the country and stop at Tim's along the way? It's true. Whether or not the hosers driving the other way or the letter home from the son travelling through Europe is true.........well I didn't see any facts about that!
  • There are two women, Faye and Florence who have been working at the very first Tims in Hamilton for over 30 years each. Saw their picture. Plan to say hi the next time I happen to be driving by their town.
Ron Joyce? He's got his own plantation, airstrip and private golf course in his hometown of Tatamagouche. I heard through the grapevine that he's a bit lonely. Maybe I'll drop by with one of those new hot smoothies and talk shop, and beg for a franchise opportunity.

"If you build it, he will come." Ray Kinsella, Field of Dreams.

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