What exactly is the appeal of Tim Horton’s to Canadians? As one friend commented, “I don’t know what they put in the coffee, but it must be addictive!”
Since we crossed the Canadian border on September 1st, we’ve seen more Tim Horton’s than any other restaurant. Surprisingly, Subway is almost as ubiquitous, with MacDonalds, Wendy’s, and Burger King showing up occasionally. I laughed to see that in Quebec, KFC is actually PFK — Poulet Frites a la Kentucky!
One morning, with my Dad, we decided to try Tim Horton’s for a quick breakfast. The line stretched out the door. “What is this?” I quipped, “the line for the men’s room?” I was the only female customer, the rest being young men in plaid shirts.
The breakfast menu at Tim Horton’s would make an Atkins follower cringe. Barry and I could see no protein available, unless you count cream cheese on a bagel. The rest was donuts, muffins, fritters, and biscuits. The infamous coffee was available in several sizes, from small to unbelievable. The latter, called The Big Tim, was an insulated jug holding nearly two liters.
My glucose level spiked vicariously, watching Barry eat a Nanaimo bar. Dad ordered coffee and a muffin.
A few weeks later, Barry and I walked through a New Brunswick shopping mall early in the morning. A series of plastic tables were installed in front of Tim Horton’s, lined up side-by-side like a 30-foot banquet table. The customers were all men. Elderly fellows, not young ones in plaid this time. I could picture them there every morning, sharing war stories, hunched over their steaming styrofoam cups of coffee.
I’m glad my Dad made his own coffee while traveling with us. Had he drunk more than one cup of Tim Horton’s coffee, he might have become addicted. And then he would have to leave his warm, sunny home in Florida and move somewhere like Campbellton, New Brunswick to get his “fix.” Rain or shine, every morning, sharing stories with the geezers over that strange Canadian brew, Tim Horton’s coffee.
My brother has long argued that one day the Canadians will invade the US. On recent trips to visit my family in Upstate NY, I believe I’ve seen the first indications that the inevitable invasion is already underway. The Tim Horton chain is now firmly established in Western NY. I have to wonder if this isn’t part of a plot to undermine our culture from the bottom up. If so, perhaps the only thing that is holding the invasion at bay is the presence of Western NY’s first Krispy Kreme store!