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"Everything's Good; Nothing's Bad"

December 11, 2007 - Phyllis Sigal
I can't wait for Tim Hortons to open around the corner from my house, in the Woodsdale section of Wheeling!

We decided to stop by a Tim Hortons in the Columbus area the other day ... just to see what was in store for us. All I knew about the place was that they had coffee and pastries.

There really is so much more, I was surprised to see.

Soups. Chili. Sandwiches and wraps. Rolls. A Hot Smoothee — described on the Web site as "deliciously different, sweet and smooth beverage." It's available in several flavors. Coffee and tea; pots of which are brewed fresh every 20 minutes. Cold drinks, too, are available, such as Iced Cappuccino, Iced Tea, fruit juices and water. A breakfast sandwich, with egg, bacon or sausage, and cheese is available until around 11 a.m.

I had soup, turkey with wild rice, which was really delicious. It was hot, and served in a ceramic crock. We were quite pleased to see real dishes — not foam or paper — being used. We split a turkey, bacon club, also quite good, with a tasty honey mustard sauce. The roll was especially good, and I'm quite picky about bread! The roll that was served with the soup was also really good — crusty on the outside and fresh on the inside.

One of the great things about Tim Hortons is that when you order a combo, which usually includes soup or a sandwich, a drink and a donut, you may substitute your donut for an apple. You also may substitute your coffee for a bottle of water. A couple of the sandwiches had 8 grams of fat or less. Another interesting — and healthy — selection is low-fat yogurt and berries.

The pastries (I did have one bite of my husband's Boston Cream donut) looked incredible. There was a low-fat blueberry muffin, I was happy to see. Besides donuts, there are croissants, bagels, cookies, danishes, muffins, cinnamon rolls and Timbits, which are little bite-size donut treats.

Everything tasted fresh. The staff was very friendly. In fact when we walked in and were perusing the board with all of the offerings, the owner came over and started talking about Tim Hortons. Leon Blalock owns three stores in the metro Columbus market, he said. Right now, the Canadian-based chain has about 55 in the Columbus area. By the end of the year, there will be about 400 in the United States. He said that 500 is the target.

The prices were quite reasonable, too. We had one soup combo, one sandwich, one bowl of soup and a roll and two coffees ... all for about $10.

"Everything's good; nothing's bad," Blalock said about the food. I'd have to agree with that after my lunch there.

About the chain: (source,

The chain was founded by Tim Horton in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Coffee and donuts only were the only offerings.

Horton, a hockey player, was signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1949 and performed as one of the steadiest defencemen on the blueline throughout his 22 years in the National Hockey League. He played in 1,446 regular season games, scoring 115 goals and 403 assists for a total of 518 points.

He played 17 full seasons and three partial seasons for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He served a short stint with the New York Rangers before being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins. His final years in hockey were with the Buffalo Sabres, where he played a major role in developing the team’s younger players.

Horton played on four Stanley Cup teams, was an All-Star player six times, and was honoured in 1969 with the J.P. Bickell Memorial Cup in recognition of his outstanding service to the Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Club. George Armstrong says of Tim, “No finer person, teammate or hockey player ever lived.” In Bobby Hull’s words, “Few players brought more dedication or honour to the game. He was my idea of a pro.”

Horton did not live to witness the chain’s great success. He was traveling back to Buffalo from a game at Maple Leaf Gardens when he was killed in an automobile accident on February 21, 1974. The Buffalo Sabres retired his Number 2 sweater as a tribute to his memory. At the time of Tim’s death, there were 40 Tim Hortons stores.


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