Tim Hortons recently marked its territory in England by offering free timbits and people seem to go so far in expressing their excitement, that they even associate the brand with a "Canadian Starbucks". Well, in my opinion, the resemblance of their market positioning is practically close to nonexistent. Similarities are superficial: they both sell coffee (or other hot and cold beverages) with something on the side, and they both adapt the design of the plastic cup according to the season or time of year. I simply love the two brands for what they represent in my mind: Starbucks, a cozy ambiance and place to study, Tim Hortons, a sweet guilty pleasure, accompanied by a coffee.
When bought by Burger King more than two years ago, public opinion secretly feared that the Tim Hortons brand would gradually loose its authenticity, but in this period of time, I have not seen any changes. Except for the delightful launch of the caramel churro donut, which was not due to the above-mentioned transaction, but followed the Mexican expansion of the restaurant chain.
Speaking of Tim Hortons, my almost-Canadian-citizen self depicts it like:
- The first coffee in a plastic cup I came across when first landing in Montreal's airport
- The first box full of 12 sorts of donuts I had the pleasure to taste after two days of officially being a permanent resident
- The place where, during my second Canadian winter, I discovered and instantly fell in love with the French vanilla, which I usually combined with a Whole Grain Carrot Orange, impeaching me to loose weight while breastfeeding
- The starting point for (almost) every road trip (independent of the distance) I took in Quebec or Ontario
- The most convenient place where I can go when I'm feeling that my glucose levels hit their lowest point
- The place where I become completely aware that seasons are changing (my favourite depiction of the phenomenon is the annual arrival of the pumpkin spice muffins at the end of September)
- The restaurant where neighbourhood particularities are on full display: where I can sit and observe slight characteristics of people's behaviour or preference depending on the area they live in
- My rescue boat whenever I'm unable to find enough time to provide a decent meal for my family (as an exemple, I would reiterate point 3)
- A place specifying "free wifi" on every entrance door, that I usually use as a pit stop after a long period of internet-free time, when I'm too anxious to check my e-mails.
P.S. or where I'm hoping that the "free wifi" really is a thing that actually allows me to check my e-mails (but still buy a small coffee with two milks and a donut while frantically refreshing my attempt)
- A part of my morning routine while living in the suburbs, that I certainly miss as an urban resident, where my closest restaurants are at a here and here, respectively, within a less-than-10-minutes' drive.