Thursday, October 9, 2014

Tim Horton's Has Created a Monster!


Several months ago I wrote a blog post about Katya's first few days in Canada, in which she fell in love with Tim Horton's. You can read it here.

That first introduction to Tim Horton's (AKA "Timmy's" in Canada) was two and a half years ago, and Katya's love for the ubiquitous Canadian chain has only grown since then. When I say grown, I mean REALLY grown. She has fallen victim to some weird additive in their delicious doughnuts and warm, creamy English Toffee Cappuccino. Let me give you some examples of an out-of-control Timmy's addiction:

Yesterday it was a windy and blustery October day in southern Ontario.I finish work at 4 and Katya works until 6. Normally, to save gas, she takes the bus home, but yesterday we were both feeling sick and it was so cold, so I texted her "I'll come pick you up. Just stay indoors until I arrive." to which Katya sent back "OK. I want Timmy's."

On it's own this might be normal, akin to "OK, let's get a bottle of wine, too" or something like this, but when you take it with the whole, you realize something more is going on here. Take last weekend, for example.

Me: "Let's go to the Guelph Farmer's Market tomorrow (Saturday) morning!"
Katya: "Ooh, yes! And we can get Timmy's, too!"

Or the week before:

Me: "Do you want to go to the park and feed the geese?"
Katya: "Ya! That's a great idea! And there's a Timmy's there, too!"

The above examples illustrate an ongoing love of the Tim Horton's brand, but it's not just their fresh and very affordable menu offerings that have captivated my wife so; it's their entire brand. I will attempt to illustrate the reality of a brand hostage below:

Scene: sitting on the sofa, watching CSI on CTV, when suddenly a Tim Horton's commercial comes on.

Katya: "Hey, it's Timmy's!" - grabs the remote, pauses it, and rewinds the commercial to the start just in case I happened to miss anything (I'm usually playing on my phone during commercials) -



The army had a friggin Timmy's in Kandahar, Afghanistan! They were hiring people at $40/hour to serve coffee to the troops, and were only shelled by Taliban mortars and RPG's 36 times...
A year ago, when we drove across Canada, we spent an awful 8 hours driving through nightime Northern Ontario, from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie. Tim Horton's was the only place where we could stop and fill up on caffeine. While Katya liked Timmy's before then, it was the feeling of Timmy's being a convenient, 24-hour safe and warm guardian angel found in every town and city across the vast wilderness of this country that really got Katya hooked. Seeing a Tim Horton's is, to her, akin to seeing a civilized city arise out of the desert. Hope! Life! Civilization!

I'm not being fair by accusing my wife of being an out-of-control Timmy's addict. My mother loves Timmy's too, and this past summer I took my grandfather to Timmy's for a coffee and a donut and he was as happy  as can be, saying "I don't get to get out much. I forgot how good Tim Horton's is" and then proceeding to buy both me and himself a box of a dozen donuts. You know, for "later".



I'm also guilty of a Tim Horton's love, although not to the same extent as others around me. When I'm driving, or I'm out and about and feeling hungry, or just feeling generally blue, a Tim Horton's sign (and they are everywhere in Canada) will pop up on the horizon, offering a beacon of tasty, fresh and warm light. The customer service varies from place to place (they are franchises, after all), but the menu and prices are the same everywhere, and every Timmy's is generally clean and has the same layout. I also like that I can pay using my phone. I have the Tim Horton's app, and I just need to load any amount I want onto my Tim Horton's account, and then when I'm at the restaurant or the drive-thru, I just tap my phone to their payment terminal and voila! Paid! The fact that there is now a Tim Horton's Visa credit card is a little scary...

Unlike McDonald's, Timmy's offers fresh-made sandwiches, soups, salads and wraps for the health-conscious, as well as breakfast bagels, donuts, croissants, biscuits, muffins, cinnamon rolls...the list is endless. I'm particularly fond of the Tim Horton's chili....mmmmm....

Sorry, got caught up with dreaming about Timmy's there. Where was I? I don't remember. All I can do is think about Tim Horton's now. A nice large double-double would be great...I was writing about something. Don't remember now. I'm off to get a coffee and an apple fritter. Out.