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History of Tim Hortons


The Tim Hortons chain was first opened in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario. Since then it has grown into Canada's largest national chain in the coffee and fresh baked goods segment, with more than 2,200 stores right across the country, and approximately 160 locations in key markets in the United States.

The first Tim Hortons stores offered only two products - coffee and donuts. The selection of donuts to enjoy was highlighted by two original Tim Hortons creations, the Apple Fritter and the Dutchie. They became the most popular donut choices in the 60's, and remain two of the most popular today.

But as consumer tastes grew, so did the choices at Tim Hortons. The biggest change in the chain's product focus took place in 1976 with the introduction of the phenomenally successful TIMBIT (bite-sized donut hole), today available in 39 different varieties. The chain's growth into the 1980's brought about a whole series of new product introductions: muffins (1981), cakes (1981), pies (1982), croissants (1983), cookies (1984), and soups & chili (1985). Sandwiches, which were originally introduced in 1993, were re-introduced as a new and improved line-up of 6 varieties, called "Tim's Own", in 1998. Also, in the 1990's, bagels (1996), flavored cappuccino (1997), Café Mocha (1999) and Iced Cappuccino (1999) were introduced. In 2000, "Tim's Own" Coffee Cake and hot Chicken Stew in an edible bread bowl were successful menu additions and in 2002, a French style baguette bread was added to "Tim's Own" sandwich line-up. The chain's biggest drawing card, however, remains its legendary Tim Hortons coffee. The special blend is also available in cans, as are Tim Hortons hot chocolate and English Toffee and French Vanilla cappuccinos, so customers can also enjoy these great tasting products at home.

In addition to our regular standard stores, Tim Hortons locations can also be found in
shopping malls, highway outlets, universities and hospitals, providing prominent visibility or the chain. Most standard Tim Hortons locations offer 24-hour drive-thru service, catering to consumers on the go. Combo unit locations, which house both a Tim Hortons and Wendy’s, offer customers the convenience of both restaurants under one roof. In 1995, Tim Hortons merged with Wendy’s International, Inc., giving new focus and impetus to the expansion of the Tim Hortons concept in the United States. Tim Hortons locations can presently be found in Michigan, New York, Ohio, Kentucky, Maine, and West Virginia, with responsible expansion continuing in these core markets. The Canadian operation is 95% franchise owned and operated, and plans in the U.S. call for the same key strategy to be implemented as expansion progresses.


The TDL Group Ltd. is the licensing company for Tim Hortons franchises presently operating in Canada and the United States. The Tim Hortons chain of restaurants began in 1964. Ronald V. Joyce was originally the franchisee of Store #1, located in Hamilton, Ontario. By 1967, he and Tim Horton became full partners in the company, and after Tim's tragic death in a car accident in February of 1974, Ron Joyce became the sole owner. On December 29, 1995, The TDL Group Ltd. signed an official merger with Wendy's International, Inc. The Tim Hortons chain, based in Oakville, Ontario, continues to operate as a separate entity.

Store #1 - Hamilton, Ontario - May 1964
Store #100 - Thunder Bay, Ontario - December 1978
Store #200 - Hamilton, Ontario - December 1984
Store #300 - Calgary, Alberta - February 1987
Store #400 - Halifax, Nova Scotia - February 1989
Store #500 - Aylmer, Quebec - January 29, 1991
Store #700 - Moncton, New Brunswick - October 22, 1993
Store #1000 - Ancaster, Ontario - August 2, 1995
Store #1500 - Pickerington, Ohio - March 18, 1997
Store #2000 - Toronto, Ontario – December 8, 2000
Store #2200 - Brampton, Ontario – February 12, 2002
100th U.S. store – Columbus, Ohio - July 31, 1998
The chain presently has over 2,200 stores in Canada and approximately 160 in the
United States. Growth objectives call for further expansion and continued renovation
plans across Canada and into the U.S. over the next several years.

Five warehouse distribution centres, located in Oakville, Ontario; Calgary, Alberta;
Debert, Nova Scotia (Truro); Kingston, Ontario; and Aldergrove (Langley), British
Columbia presently service the stores across Canada and the U.S.
A fleet of decorated trucks criss-cross Canada and the states in which Tim Hortons operates, delivering food orders to the stores through the Tim Hortons distribution centres.

The TDL Group Ltd. employs over 760 people out of its corporate head office in
Oakville, with the franchised store locations retaining staff of over 55,000 people across
the country. In addition, there are five main regional offices in Canada, and three U.S. offices.

The chain receives support services through the following corporate departments:

Development/Real Estate
Human Resources
Research & Development
Marketing & Corporate Communications
Information Technology

An Advisory Board made up of 15 franchised store owners from across the chain, plus
appropriate head office management, meets on a quarterly basis to provide input into
the main issues facing the industry and chain. Company policy and major marketing
programs and expenditures are the main focus of the Board. Franchisees present
reports from their regions on any issues of interest or concern to their business.

(All Tim Hortons locations offer a full menu of standard product varieties,
plus many optional varieties, that will differ by store)

Regular & Decaffeinated coffee
Flavored cappuccinos; Café Mocha; Iced Cappuccino (cold beverage)
All available in-store (served in a special Tim Hortons china mug) OR take-out
(standard take-out cup, or your own personal/ reusable Tim Mug, available for
purchase and use at all locations)
DONUTS Total of 59 varieties (each store carries a minimum of 21)
Top sellers: Apple Fritter (yeast donut with apple pieces and cinnamon)
Dutchie (yeast donut with raisins)
Boston Cream (yeast donut, filled with cream and topped with
chocolate icing)
Chocolate Dip (yeast donut topped with chocolate icing)
Sour Cream (cake donut)
TIMBITS Bite-size donut holes available in 39 varieties (each store carries a
minimum of 8)
MUFFINS 41 varieties (each store carries a minimum of 10, including at least one
that is low-fat)
CAKES & PIES Displayed fresh, or made-to-order, for any special occasion
COOKIES 28 varieties (each store carries a minimum of 4)
BAGELS 12 varieties (sesame seed, plain, cinnamon raisin, poppyseed, multigrain,
everything, onion, blueberry, whole wheat ‘n honey, chocolate chunk,
muësli & fruit, salt (US only)) (each store carries a minimum of 8)
CREAM CHEESE 5 varieties (plain regular, light-plain, strawberry, herb & garlic, garden
CROISSANTS 4 varieties (each store carries a minimum of 2)
TEA BISCUITS 9 varieties (each store carries a minimum of 3)
SANDWICHES “Tim’s Own”: Made–to-order on your choice of fresh bread (bun, croissant
or bagel); 6 varieties (Black Forest Ham, Fireside Roast Beef, Harvest
Turkey, Chunky Chicken Salad, Albacore Tuna Salad, Garden Vegetable)
SOUPS Sold with a fresh baked tea biscuit or bun (18 varieties)
CHILI Sold with a fresh baked tea biscuit or bun
CHICKEN STEW Served in an edible bread bowl

Published on: 2004-08-05 (106147 reads)

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