It is no secret that Canadian’s have an obsession with coffee: from the multitude of coffee shops all over the city, that nearly every person is carrying a coffee and from knowing the habits of my own very dear Canadian friends. When a certain Canadian coffee shop chain arrived in Dubai there was near hysteria from my Canadian friends with samples of coffee and ‘Timbits’ appearing in the staff room regularly. So who is this Tim Horton and why did he start selling coffee?
Miles Gilbert ‘Tim’ Horton was a Canadian professional ice hockey player who was very unfortunately killed in a car accident in 1974, aged only 47. Realising that his hockey career would not last forever he looked for ways to make his earnings work. Horton proved to be an entrepreneurial businessman having opened a hamburger restaurant and a car dealership. However, it was the Tim Horton Doughnut Shop which opened in 1964 in Ontario which would be his most successful: by 1967 Tim Horton’s was a multi-million dollar franchise business. Although initially selling only doughnuts and the now legendary special blend coffee the chain’s range of food products expanded with customer tastes. The bit sized doughnuts known as ‘Timbits’ were a phenomenal success when they appeared in 1976 – there are now available in 35 different varieties and as popular as ever.
The Tim Horton chain is now owned by Burger King and as well as having shops in the US has 29 operating in the UAE and other GCC States with plans to expand this market further.
Thanks Tim, great coffee!