After several years of speculation and rumour, it has been confirmed that a Tim Horton’s franchise will be coming to the Esso Travel Centre on Highway 1 near Ashcroft Manor, which is owned and operated by the Ashcroft Indian Band (AIB).
The centre opened two years ago with a Mr. Sub and a Country Style franchise located within the main building. However, both franchises closed earlier this year, leaving the space vacant. Enter Timmies, which had been named as a possible venture at the site before the centre even opened.
“Tim Horton’s was in the mix at the beginning, but it wasn’t the right time,” says AIB chief Greg Blain. “It took a long time to get to this point.” He says that Damian Couture, the travel centre’s assistant manager, has embarked on six weeks of Tim Horton’s training in Toronto, in preparation for the opening of the franchise.
“He’ll be one of the main supervisors,” says Blain. “We’ll have to train other staff members, as well as shift supervisors.” He admits that a big challenge will be hiring enough staff.
“We want to start hiring people so we can get the correct number of people in place, and we don’t know how easy or hard that will be. Sometimes it can be hard, but if people are good employees we will accommodate them accordingly.” He says that they will be looking for people from a range of ages to work in the franchise.
A lot of the infrastructure is already in place, and renovations are going on now. Blain says that he hopes they will be ready to open in early January, and adds that they will serve a full range of Tim Horton’s products. There will be tables inside, as well as a drive-through service, and they are looking at operating hours of 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Blain says that while he applied as the franchisee, and had to “jump through a lot of hoops”, the franchise itself is owned by the band. He’s pleased about the upcoming addition to the travel centre.
“I think it’s really good news.”