Lachlan passed away in January 2010.  As a memorial, this site remains as he left it.
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Welcome to Lachlan Cranswick's Personal Homepage in Melbourne, Australia

Doughnuts/Donuts in the Upper Ottawa Valley

Getting to and things to do in the Deep River, Upper Ottawa Valley, Ontario, Canada area

Lachlan's Deep River homepage is at

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Donut shops that make fresh donuts

Coffee Xpress / Coffee Express, 446 Pembroke Street West, Pembroke, Ottawa Valley, Ontario.

If you live in the Pembroke and Deep River areas, and you want light, fresh tasting donuts Coffee Xpress on the main road into Pembroke is the place to go. A recent taste test by laboratory based personal, of high qualifications, were in unanimous agreement that the Coffee Express donuts tasted like fresh donuts and were very good.

Coffee Xpress
446 Pembroke Street West, 
Pembroke, Ontario
K8A 5N7
Tel: 613-732-1303  

From the people who sell the Nutrition Action Healthletter (a photocopy of a photocopy floating around the place)

10 Food Secrets You Should Know from the Nutrition Action Healthletter . . 10 Super Foods You Should Eat from the Nutrition Action Healthletter

10 Food Secrets You Should Know from the Nutrition Action Healthletter (Bugles Original, Tim Horton's Donuts, President's Choice Shepherd's Pie, Burger King Fries, McDonalds Shakes, Starbucks Venti White Chocolate Mocha with whole milk and whipped cream; Campbell's Condensed Soups; Proctor and Gamble Sunny Delight; Our Compliments Lasagne with Chicken; Stouffer's Macaroni and Cheese) and

10 Super Foods You Should Eat from the Nutrition Action Healthletter (Cantaloupe; Sweet Potatoes; Skim or 1% milk; Salmon or other fatty fish; Oranges; Broccoli; Whole-Grain bread; Watermelon; Beans; Spinach or Kale)

Nutrition/Fat in Krispy Kreme Doughnuts/Donuts vs Tim Horton's Doughnuts/Donuts

  • Krispy Kreme nutrition guide

  • Tim Horton's nutrition guide

  • Posted November 25, 2002 02:21 PM
    • At

    • I have been going to Tim Horton's for coffee and a Dutchie for years, but am now looking for an alternative pit stop. Why? Because Tim Horton's has recently started making Dutchies with frozen dough. Yech! Who in the company makes these hairbrained decisions? I am sure they will lose many customers like me who have developed a taste for the finer things in life.

    • Krispy Facts

      So maybe you have been lucky enough to try Krispy Kreme doughnuts or maybe you haven't. But, did you know there are actually less calories in a Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut than a honey dip or glazed donut from Tim Hortons. So the next time some one mentions how fattening a Krispy Kreme doughnut is, you can correct them.

      Here are the facts

      Krispy Kreme Glazed Yeast Doughnut
      Energy - 199 Calories / 830 kJ
      Protien - 2.5 g
      Fat - 12 g
      Carbohydrates - 22 g
      Sugars - 10 g
      Sodium - 97 mg
      Potassium - 22 mg

      Tim Horton's Old Fashion Glazed
      Energy - 248 Calories / 1038 kJ
      Protien - 4 g
      Fat - 12 g
      Carbohydrates - 31 g
      Sodium - 237 mg
      Potassium - 69 mg

      NOTE: even the honey dip and old fashion plain donuts are more calories than a Krispy Kreme Glazed. Of course, if you buy 3 dozen donuts and eat them in the span of a day, that doesn't mean you are on a diet. These suckers are still pretty loaded.

      For more nutritional information you can view these pdf files at your liesure; krispy kreme, tim horton's

From the Web

  • Food and bev NewsWeb.qxd : New Customers: Maidstone Bakeries - Canada
    • At$FILE/FoB_Newsl_May-Aug02.pdf

    • R.J.Thompson/Intentia in Canada is pleased to announce the signing of a new contract with Maidstone Bakeries of Brantford, Ontario. Maidstone Bakeries is a fifty-fifty joint venture between Cuisine de France of Dublin, Ireland and the TDL Group (Tim Hortons) of Oakville, Canada. Movex will be installed in Maidstone's new, 250,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art production and distribution facility and will handle the company’s entire supply chain and production requirements. Maidstone produces parbaked frozen baked goods for distribution to Cuisine de France and Tim Hortons’ outlets throughout North America.

  • City of Brantford expression of interest to participate in the tax incentive zone pilot program

  • Tim Horton's Moving to Frozen Donuts - by David Swick/Hfx Daily News - Friday September 19, 2003 at 01:45 PM
    • At

    • Frying doughnuts in one megaplant and shipping them thousands of kilometres on trucks is not a move made with customers in mind. And it prompts some serious questions that must be asked.

      Will the Tim Hortons motto "Always Fresh" be changed? Those words appear outside almost every outlet, all 74 in metro Halifax and more than 2,000 across the country. But is it fair to say "fresh" when a doughnut was fried days, weeks or, maybe, months ago? Does "fresh" mean fresh, or resuscitated? Would continuing to say "fresh" be false advertising?

  • Tim Horton's
    • At

    • As I understand it, Tim Hortons is now having their doughnuts shipped in (frozen dough) and no more are being actually made from scratch on the premises. (I think they are baked on the premises) Also, according to my information, there was some flexibility for the franchise owner in making the size he/she chose and most of them were making them BIG!! I guess all of the franchises have to follow a standard for size now. Anyhow, that is something I read somewhere awhile back. Lori

    • Are Tim Horton's Donuts Shrinking and the quality poorer? I had a very favorite "the Walnut Crunch" which was a heavy concoction loaded with walnuts. The last time I ordered a walnut crunch, not aware that the recipe had changed, was handed this smaller facimile which tasted like it was made from a chocolate cake mix with a few walnut pieces in it. Why does a company who is so successful start cheapening their product. I ordered a small coffee at the same time I remarked on the shrunken walnut crunch and noticed that the coffee was an inch lower than the rim of the cup. That's OK because now I have no desire to go there anymore.

    • Standardization .... the donut machine spits out dough exact to the gram - reduce each donut by 10 grams and who will notice (and we'll make oodles more of profit).

      For those who care, they don't seem to have figured out how to reduce the size of the Timbits - a better bargain anyway.

      As for the coffee (which is usually excellent) there is nothing keep YOU as the paying customer from asking them to 'take it back and fill it up', even if it means popping the top at the drive-up window before leaving.

      As stated, quality of service depends almost entirely on the supervisors ability/willingness to do his/her job.

      A very large US donut franchiser is moving into Canada with their specialty being yeast-risen donuts (their name escapes me just now) but they will soon be giving the Timmy bunch a run for their money, and their donuts are DONUT size.

  • Re: Change of Product
    • At

    • Frozen Donuts! What can I say? Tim Hortons donuts taste like crap! Actually, more like rubber ... All the donuts are made by a company named Maidstone located in Brantford, Ontario. They are pre-baked and flash frozen ... which later on are shipped to the stores. In Ontario ... I believe Sysco Serca delivers all the product for Tim Hortons stores. Anyhow, all the muffins comes in frozen pails. So if you're wondering why the muffins taste so bad and they're so small is because they're FROZEN and they actually weight out each muffin at 4 1/2 oz ... nothing more and at some stores the less the better. Bottom line is that Tim Hortons sucks! And going Frozen is their worst mistake ... and right now most of the stores across Canada has been converted. Ontario, Alberta, Saskachewan, and Quebec ... all gone Frozen!

  • RateItAll - Tim Hortons
    • At

    • I have been recently very disappointed in Tim Hortons. I have been a very avid Tim Hortons consumer for many years. I would get a coffee and a muffin every morning until recently when the muffins have been tasting like they were freezer burned, not to mention the decrease in size. They now taste like they are frozen muffins purchased at a local grocery store. I have since quit going to Tim Hortons and have started going to a coffee shop that has very fresh baked goods. It is very disappointing to see Tim Hortons make a descision to pre-make all their muffins and doughnuts in Brantford Ontario then freeze them. They arrive at the store location where they are un-frozen and served. This goes against there slogan of many years. They have advertised "ALWAYS FRESH" which is no longer the case. It is too bad to see a company with such a good reputation take a turn for worst with a bad descision like this.

  • The hole truth : Tim Horton's already selling baked-from-frozen doughnuts
    • At

    • OTTAWA -- Tim Horton's is already serving up baked-from-frozen doughnuts in some stores -- and is expected make the chain-wide switch to factory-shipped product by mid-2003, a company insider says.

      The top-secret plan, which will be tested in Ottawa this fall, has been in the works for years. A Sun source, who is a Toronto-area baker, said the frozen product is already being used in some corporate-run Oakville locations where they are ironing out "quality issues."

      "There have been complaints about the flavour being off or the way they look, and with huge air bubbles in the dough," he said. "I'm sure customers have noticed and complained, but they've just thought they've got a bad doughnut."

      Patti Jameson, vice-president of corporate communications at TDL, Tim Horton's headquarters in Oakville, won't disclose test spots for "competitive reasons," but said trials have yielded excellent doughnuts.


      "That's the amazing thing about it. It doesn't taste different ... It's absolutely wonderful," she said.

      Consistency across the chain is the main reason for the change, said Jameson. Cost reduction is not a driving factor, since it will actually cost franchise owners in the short-term to make the conversion.

      The Toronto-area baker said the required equipment -- a special oven and a large freezer -- will cost about $40,000 per store. The firm and its franchises have already invested to the point it's unlikely the plan would be reversed -- even if Canadians denounce the new doughnuts, he said.

      The traditional doughnut-making technique is a labour-intensive process that takes several hours to mix, rise, cut, cook, deep fry and decorate.

      With the new method, all doughnuts -- from crullers to Timbits -- will arrive pre-baked and frozen in a box. They require only three minutes of cooking to prepare them for finishing.

      Judi Richards, vice-president of marketing and communications for KremeKo Inc., a Canadian company that holds exclusive rights to the American Krispy Kreme doughnut outlets, said they have no plans to go frozen. "Part of the appeal of the product and brand is the multi-sensory experience," she said.

  • Circadian Shift: Somewhere between pattern recognition and cognitive dissonance: Smaller donuts = Fewer happy Canadians - July 13, 2003
    • At

    • Sure, Tim, sure. So why did you stop using fresh donut batter over a year ago and instead ship it frozen to your stores? (remember the slogan "always fresh"?) Is it because you used frozen batter back in '64 or because you can save a few bucks by not shipping it as often? Two words: corporate machine.

    • Sure, Tim, sure. So why did you stop using fresh donut batter over a year ago and instead ship it frozen to your stores? (remember the slogan "always fresh"?) Is it because you used frozen batter back in '64 or because you can save a few bucks by not shipping it as often? Two words: corporate machine.

    • Tim Horton, or its parent company Wendy's is about to see, in my opinion, some changes in its customer base. I think because there are so many Tim's comparred to Robins, Country, CoffeeTime or K-Kreme, that it will continue to sell those big orders. But the walk-in Joe off the street, (or drive-in Joe as is usually the case), is going to drive those extra blocks to enjoy a REAL freshly made donut.

      Y'know? deep fried fresh every morning, slightly crispy on the surface, delicate on the inside with sprinkles or coconut that actually stick? Yes, "Tim's", I am pushing a point and it is toward YOU!

      I will be one of those people who drive elsewhere from now on. Absolutely. No kidding. I mean it.

      Though I only eat donuts on occassion, from this point on, I will never buy a Tim Horton donut again; not because I'm mad at the change of size, but because TIM HORTON'S DONUTS NO LONGER TASTE GOOD.

      Yes, they're made more cheaply and - WOW - does it show!

      May as well be faxing 'em in, Timmy, such is their blandess and lack of texture.

      I dunno, it's sort of when you order a deep dish of hot apple pie with all the trimmings and the waitress brings you a slice of cinnamon toast.

      Tim's donut's texture is limp and rubbery like a damp, dishwater sponge and the taste doesn't rise much above that either.

      Their coffee is good but good coffee can be had at all of the aforementioned alternative outlets.

      And bagels, people, are a dime a dozen. Ditto for soup.

      This is one gone, gone, gone for-good-customer.

    • Well, not only is the size of the donuts and timbits reduced but so is the flavor, freshness and quality. I don't get baked goods from my surrounding Tim Horton's anymore because they are awful. I used to go 2-3 times a week but since this new frozen dough crap came in, I can't stand it! They are sacrificing their good quality donuts for crap because of a lack of consistency??? That is pathetic.

    • the bakers are gone the freshness is gone the good size is gone , frozen mini donuts no thanks . bad for tim,s good for the compition and customers . good size fresh donuts rule ,and always will . this profesional baker has seen it all . bakery,s and coffee shops were founded on freshness . the smell of fresh product and its rewards is and out ways a small frozen product . the customer is always right .

  • A Spectacular Breakthrough for Business by S. Cosburn Mortimer
    • At

    • Now the transnational corporation which runs Tim Hortons has carried these principles farther in a stunning and encouraging breakthrough for modern business. Free trade has opened up the market not only to American goods but to scientific American business ideas as well!

      First Tim's started making donuts from frozen dough (Editor's note: Surely donuts are not made from dough but from do.). The decline in texture and taste reduced the reinforcing quality of the food. That means that while paying and waiting in line are still reinforced by the delivery of the food, actually consuming the food is reinforced less. Consequently customers should spend less time in the store once their food is delivered (because they consume less of their food, for example). That increases turnover and allows each shop to serve more customers without increasing the number of tables.

      Now Tim Hortons has, so it claims, standardized the sizes of its donuts and muffins. On the whole they have reduced them. The muffins at the Tim's I go to are now about half the size they used to be. This also reduces the rewards from eating as well as reducing the time required to eat.

      The genius of this idea is that the process can be repeated! Pretexts can always be found for reducing the size of snack food portions. Caffeine can be removed from the coffee for health reasons, and then the amount of coffee can be reduced without anyone much caring.

  • the_headless_rabbit : Posted: Mon Sep 01, 2003 11:37 am Post subject:
    • At

    • yea, tim hortons donuts suck, as they are frozen, rather than made fresh, krispy kreme is very good, a different kind of donut than the other places.

      anyway, the people being pissed at wendies and tim hortons merging are dumb, because it was actually tim hortons that bought the wendies chain. (My friends dad is a CEO of the Canadian tim hortons/wendies chains, he explains this to everyone he meets....great job, works 2 days a week, one of thoes days is on a golf course, the other is spent in a bar, he does no actual work)

  • September 21, 2003 : That's a bad'da donut
    • At

    • Tim Horton's is no longer going to be baking the donuts on site, or even that day. They're making them near Toronto, freezing them and then shipping them all over the country. I can't speak for everyone, but if I wanted a donut that's been frozen, I'd just go to the grocery store.

      Had I not given up eating donuts when I gave up eating all other junk food, I'd be giving up eating donuts now.

      As far as I'm concerned, the board of directors of Tim Horton's can all go and sit on some frozen timbits.

  • Posted November 25, 2002 02:21 PM
    • At

    • I have been going to Tim Horton's for coffee and a Dutchie for years, but am now looking for an alternative pit stop. Why? Because Tim Horton's has recently started making Dutchies with frozen dough. Yech! Who in the company makes these hairbrained decisions? I am sure they will lose many customers like me who have developed a taste for the finer things in life.

    • Krispy Facts

      So maybe you have been lucky enough to try Krispy Kreme doughnuts or maybe you haven't. But, did you know there are actually less calories in a Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut than a honey dip or glazed donut from Tim Hortons. So the next time some one mentions how fattening a Krispy Kreme doughnut is, you can corrent them.

      Here are the facts

      Krispy Kreme Glazed Yeast Doughnut
      Energy - 199 Calories / 830 kJ
      Protien - 2.5 g
      Fat - 12 g
      Carbohydrates - 22 g
      Sugars - 10 g
      Sodium - 97 mg
      Potassium - 22 mg

      Tim Horton's Old Fashion Glazed
      Energy - 248 Calories / 1038 kJ
      Protien - 4 g
      Fat - 12 g
      Carbohydrates - 31 g
      Sodium - 237 mg
      Potassium - 69 mg

      NOTE: even the honey dip and old fashion plain donuts are more calories than a Krispy Kreme Glazed. Of course, if you buy 3 dozen donuts and eat them in the span of a day, that doesn't mean you are on a diet. These suckers are still pretty loaded.

      For more nutritional information you can view these pdf files at your liesure; krispy kreme, tim horton's

  • 2003/03/25 - Always fresh!?
    • At

    • I was saddened to hear this weekend that Tim Horton's now delivers its donuts FROZEN to the stores from a central warehouse!

      Pertinent links here and here.

      Well, the second link says that the dough is delivered frozen, which now makes donuts available on demand. Hmmm, my experience lately w/ donut selection hasn't been very good; and I can't remember the last time I got a Timmy's muffin that didn't suck. Link(s)

      Talk about irony.

  • Tuesday, August 13, 2002 Dough! Tim's plan chilling Chain's secret pilot project: Frozen batter - By KATHLEEN HARRIS -- Sun Media
    • At

    • OTTAWA -- Tim Horton's, the quintessentially Canadian coffee and food chain that prides itself on quality and freshness, will soon try using frozen doughnut dough.

      Chris Keizer, assistant manager at the 38 Robertson Rd. store in Ottawa, said renovations are planned to install a larger freezer and specialty oven. The location will serve as a pilot for the new baked-from-frozen product, he said.

      "It's convenience and cost," said Keizer, who expects the trial will begin early this fall.

      "It will come as frozen dough, then after they're baked we'll put on our own glaze, icing and filling."

      The frozen dough will come in both cake and yeast varieties, and will permit baking "on demand" to adapt to need and ensure freshness. Doughnuts are now made from a mix and deep fried in oil for the crispy fresh goodness that so many people find irresistible.


      Ottawa's no-smoking bylaw has hurt some local doughnut shops, and the American Krispy Kreme chain is heating up doughnut competition in Canada.

      Keizer hasn't yet tried the baked-from-frozen product, and isn't sure if the average consumer will taste a difference.

      "I wouldn't say no," he said. "A lot of people brag about our doughnuts now."

      At Tim Horton's headquarters in Oakville, the doughnut masters aren't quick to share trade secrets on possible trial projects.

      Patti Jameson, vice-president of corporate communications, would not confirm if using frozen dough is a concept that will be tried at Tim's outlets.

      While the company is committed to ongoing research and development, she emphasized that not all ideas fly.

      "We test things constantly. It's the way any good company would do things -- always looking at what alternatives and options are," Jameson said.


      No jobs would be lost as a result of any marketing changes, she said, describing bakers as a "fundamental part" of the business.

      "Tim Horton's prides itself on quality and freshness, service and value," said Jameson.

      "We would have to ensure at all times those attributes would be maintained at all costs."

      Jennifer Elford, a baker at the Tim Horton's in Carleton Place for about eight years, has heard frozen dough is the way of the future -- for doughnuts, muffins and croissants. While employees will still be required to ice and finish the doughnuts, Elford worries she might not keep her job as a baker.

      "I've heard everything is going frozen," she said.

      "The doughnuts will come frozen just like the bagels, and be baked in a special oven."

      It's her understanding the move to frozen dough is to ensure consistency across independently run franchises, but she's concerned that quality could suffer.

  • Tim Hortons Responds
    • At

    • Regular readers will recall that I mentioned my surprise that a Tim Hortons Garden Vegetable Sandwich contains 23 g of fat. I had been in the habit of ordering this sandwich as a "healthy alternative" without thinking about it (doesn't garden vegetable sound healthly?). I sent an email to Tim Hortons, and this is what they wrote me back:

      Dear Mr. Rukavina:

      I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding your concerns with the Tim Hortons Garden Vegetable Sandwich.

      Tim Hortons has created a Nutrition Guide featuring a cross section of our products. As you have recently viewed this guide electronically on our website, we hope that you have found the nutritional information useful in helping incorporate Tim Hortons products into your lifestyle.

      The Garden Vegetable Sandwich is not advertised as a "healthy alternative" sandwich. It is prepared with Plain Cream Cheese, Tim Hortons Special Dressing, Cucumber, Tomato and Lettuce. The total fat content of this sandwich is 23 grams. The areas of the sandwich in which the fat are located is as follows:

      Plain Cream Cheese, 13.0 grams
      Tims Special Dressing, 9.0 grams
      White Country Bun, 0.5 grams

      To lower the total fat of this sandwich, request a sandwich with a Light Cream Cheese and no Tims Special Dressing.

      Yours truly,

      Consumer Nutrition Co-ordinator

      Research & Development

      That (a) Tim Hortons would respond at all, (b) they would take my request seriously, and (c) that they have a Consumer Nutrition Co-ordinator are all very heartening things. Kudos to Tim's for excellent service.

  • Nutritian and Calories in various Junk Food places

From the Web

  • Tim Horton's Moving to Frozen Donuts
    • At

    • Not to mention that they are responsible for the demolition of the Great Northwest Coffee Company, and there are plans to build more Timmy's all over Thunder Bay. They are actually part of the same American corporate conglomerate as Wendy's, even though everyone thinks they're a Canadian classic. In my opinion giving your money to your local Tim Horton's instead of a real local coffee shop (or instead of not going to Tim Horton's or burning down Tim Horton's) is a move against the place in which you live. Does Wall Street really need your money or does Thunder Bay? And now frozen donuts...

    • damn right! by ozzy Saturday September 20, 2003 at 05:03 PM

      the prolifferation of these 'joints' encourages people to become hostages, to lose their own individuality and subordinates the potential of the community they descend upon - it is a ecipe for economic servitude and disaster. RISE UP AGAINST FUCKING DONUTS! imagine how many other useful, profitable community-centric activities or enterprises COULD be, if only someone didn't steal the opportunity for you to use your imagination and creativity. YOU ARE BEING ROBBED BY TIM HORTON'S. Every time you go in one you contribute to the destruction of your community and your own lives! EXCELLENT LETTTER, I HOPE YOU SENT IT ALREADY...

      We have to put an STOP! to modular, prefabricated social engineering and organization! It's reducing us to unskilled, enslved imbeciles!

    • GOTTA TELL YA by 'BUS'ted Saturday September 20, 2003 at 05:23 PM














    • The truth is out there! by oscar Thursday September 25, 2003 at 08:49 AM

      Great article - our office tower had a Tim Hortons open on the retail level about a month ago.

      There was a delay in the restaurant opening and on asking about the delay our office adminstrator was advised by building security this was due to an equipment change - if you can believe it - from fryers to freezers!

      Story was that the donuts at our shop would be one of the "new" formats where the donuts were baked in Ontario, trucked out here, and reheated.

      This sounded a little on the "out there" track, but after sampling a few donuts we were wondering - the donuts all taste like day-olds.

      Your article is greatly appreciated - it confirms what we heard to be true!

    • THSucks by Krispy Kreme Friday September 26, 2003 at 10:28 PM

      Exactly why people line up for hours whenever a new Krispy Kreme opens. There, the donuts are FRESH and there's no hiding it -- you can actually see them being fried and glazed before your very eyes. Tim Hortons does this days in advance in Oakville then lets them go stale as they're trucked across the country. Garbage.

    • TIM's jobs by john-A- Monday September 29, 2003 at 04:40 PM

      Tim Horton's pays $6.85/hour and you think Thunder Bay needs it's jobs? Tim's will just keep putting more coffee shops that do pay a decent wage out of business, and that doesn't help anything. Sorry Ernie, you're just not seeing the big picture here...

    • clean by john-A- Friday October 10, 2003 at 10:30 AM

      Yes, Timmy Ho's is very clean, almost seems sterile really.. the bright flourecent lights, the underpaid employees who talk like robots because they are bored and tired out of their minds.. It's a different kind of clean really.

    • Tim Hortons is the "New Coke" by David Goodwin Thursday October 23, 2003 at 07:13 AM

      Shame on Tim Hortons. Your corporate greed has turned you into just another corporation that has lost focus. You are no better than Coke when they brought out the "New Coke", and what a disaster that was.

      They should be ashamed on two points:

      1. Telling their staff to lie (I asked 3 stores and they all said they were "baked" on the premises but when pushed one finally was honest, but said they were told not to tell

      2. They better not say "baked fresh" anymore, what a lie.

      Long live Krispy Kreme!!! At least they make them fresh. Never thought I would see the day when I would go over to the dark side, but this is too much.

    • Timmies everywhere by Lt Gagetown Thursday October 23, 2003 at 09:16 AM

      There are now 2 Tim Hortons on my direct route to work everyday and a third one being built. I only live 7 km from where I work. Tim Hortons are being built all over the city like weeds.

    • Founder faults 'fresh' tactic Founder faults 'fresh' tactic by twig Thursday October 23, 2003 at 09:32 PM

      just came across this in one of the late izzy's rags. looks like indymedia gets the news more than a month ahead of canwest.

      Founder faults 'fresh' tactic

      Tim Hortons originator disappointed in chain's move to frozen goods

      Deborah Tetley CanWest News Service

      Thursday, October 23, 2003

      The man who started the doughnut shop that spawned the Tim Hortons chain says management hasn't been 'frank and open' about production changes.

      CALGARY -- Nearly 40 years ago, Ron Joyce opened a single doughnut and coffee shop in Hamilton, Ont., and watched it evolve into a Canadian icon called Tim Hortons, recognized the world over for its commitment to community, freshness and the quality of its product.

      Today, the Calgary co-founder is selling off his remaining two million shares to parent company Wendy's International, is disappointed in the chain's new philosophy on what Always Fresh means, and is blasting senior management for not being "frank and open" with customers.

      Joyce, who sold the company to Wendy's in 1995 for $620 million, confirmed what consumers have been saying for several months and officials at head office would not -- that the doughnuts are being fried in a factory in Brantford, Ont., then packaged, frozen and shipped to regional warehouses across the country. Once in store the already "95 per cent cooked" product is baked in an oven and served.

      "I've tried them and they're certainly not the same as the other product," he said Wednesday.

      In the wake of consumer backlash over Tim Hortons' new frozen doughnuts, the 72-year-old said he is saddened to hear that some consumers aren't happy and are threatening to boycott.

      "Of course it bothers me. This is not a philosophy that I would have embraced if I still owned the company. However, whether or not I agree with the philosophy is irrelevant."

      Joyce, who sold the company to Wendy's in 1995 for $620 million, reached a deal last year to sell his remaining block of shares back to Wendy's by January 2004, as part of estate planning.

      He has been gradually selling off his holdings under the deal, said to be worth $185 million US, or about $297 million Cdn.

      Until Wednesday, Patti Jameson, vice-president of corporate communications for Tim Hortons, would only say the company is conducting tests.

      "I am the official spokesperson and until I confirm or deny anything it simply doesn't exist," she told CanWest News Service on Tuesday. "If someone else says something, that's up to them. We don't want to discuss this through the media."

      Wednesday, after learning of Joyce's comments, Bill Moir, the executive vice-president of marketing, said the company wasn't trying to keep secrets from its customers, just from the competition.

      Joyce said regardless, the customers deserve to know what's happening.

      "I'm disappointed in senior management, truly disappointed," he said. "They should have come out right of the closet and said: 'We are going into a new method of producing our product and we think they're going to be better and they're going to be fresher.' "

      In some ways, he regrets selling the chain, which he took control of when his business partner in the company, NHL star Tim Horton, died in a car accident in 1974.

      Joyce said about 30 years ago he researched a frozen doughnut and considered buying into the idea as a means to eventually save money for the company, reduce waste and still deliver a tasty sweet.

      In the end, though, his Always Fresh motto was the only message he heard.

      "I thought there's one thing we can offer our consumer and that's a fresh, fresh product, so I decided not to go that way," he said, adding that he is not divesting his stock as a result of the current consumer backlash, rather as part of his estate planning.

    • shades of the truth by twig Friday October 24, 2003 at 07:41 PM

      assuming that the tim hortons donut factory (or whatever it's called) in brampton runs 7 days a week, then technically the donuts are 'made fresh every day'. it's just that then they are frozen and sent all over canada. even 'day olds' were fresh once.

      this is exactly the kind of twisting the truth that we've seen from tim hortons in thunder bay. when the story broke about tim hortons forcing the great northwest coffee house to be torn down, i heard a tim hortons spokesperson on the radio stating that tim hortons was not buying the great northwest property and that they had no plans to build 10 new tim hortons in thunder bay this year. again, technically the truth, but no one was claiming either of the above statements. the original accusations against tim hortons was that they had obtained a 30 year lease on the great northwest property. similarly, tim hortons' claims were made in late october or early november, so obviously they weren't going to build 10 new tim hortons 'this year'. it's these fine distinctions that are totally lost on the public who is not familiar with the finer details. i should also point out that the cbc interviewer did not challenge the timmy's apologist on the misleading, but technically truthful statements.

      it seems like tim hortons' policy towards dealing with any kind of controversy is to simply deny everything (particularly things they weren't accused of in the first place) and provide misleading information to prove their 'innocence'.

      it's almost comforting to see tim hortons' true colours coming out in the 'god complex' of their corporate spokesperson.

      perhaps bush and his buddies should hire patti jameson--maybe the reason saddam's weapons of mass destruction haven't been found yet is just 'cause patti hasn't got around to comfirming their existence.

    • Frozen dough is awful by Brenda MacDonald Monday October 27, 2003 at 04:54 PM

      I have been going to Tim Hortons' in Sydney, Nova Scotia for years now, and I noticed a change in their timbits a few months ago. They were dense, not fresh and hard. Now I know it's because they have started to use frozen ones. I haven't been able to find any satisfactory baked goods from any tim hortons since, except when I went to Port Aux Basques, Newfoundland a month ago. Their baked goods were obviously made fresh, from scratch and they were delicious, just like the old days!! I am so disappointed that Tim Hortons has sacrificed its fresh tasting Timbits for frozen, stale ones. I now only get the occasional coffeethere, but never Timbits or doughnuts. It's just too awful.

    • seniors discount..NOT by Joe Shields Monday November 03, 2003 at 07:53 PM

      First Timmy Ho's reduced the size of the doughnuts and other products, then took away my seniors discount and now with their divine wisdom they took away the free stale timbit from my pet. Thanks timmy but no thanks. Its to my locally owned coffeeshop from now on.

    • Ummm by Davo Friday November 07, 2003 at 06:07 AM

      Yes, boil it down to us and them, Americans and Canadians...finally something we can sink our teeth into (pardon the pun), xenophobia!

      The fact is we're BOTH fat and neither of us want to admit it. Another fact is that Maria never even said she was American and the rest of you sheep instantly joined in on the bashing, blinded by your hatred.

      Perhaps she's Argentinian. A country that has suffered greatly since our great Canadian Scotia Bank fucked off with everyone's cash during the economic collapse. Do you think they'll ever get that money back? No. Are people hungry while we feast on fried dough? Yes. And she raises a good point.

      We sit on our asses when it comes to almost every important issue. We ARE fat and lazy. Neither war, poverty, famine, injustice, nor the loss of our own autonomy to multinational corporations gets us fired up. But fuck with our donuts! That's an atrocity!

      Why don't you folks spend some of the amazing energy I've seen expended in this thread on something that matters. Something that will make the world better. Or has our world become so small and our will so weak that this is all we care about?

    • Right is Right ! by NON-LIBERAL Saturday January 17, 2004 at 11:24 AM

      Troy, Varga is right (meaning what you think) on this.

      You would be providing a valuable

      1. Providing a refuge for Police Officers.

      2. Providing fuel for the obese.

      3. Providing competition among business.

      4. Perhaps the greatest service.....Furthering...

      " CAPITALISM "

    • It's not just the frozen donuts by Blair Cox Monday July 05, 2004 at 02:05 PM

      The frozen donuts are a double edged sword. I'm a former proffesional cook who recently had to take a job as a baker at a local Tim Horton's. I have never worked in such a disgusting environement during my career. Needles to say, the frozen donuts may acually make it safer to eat at Tim Horton's. But I also agree that Krispee Kream needs to knock the crap out this company. It's slave labour and a dangerous food product.

  • Worshipping at the church of Tim Horton
    • At

    • The idea Canadians have replaced doxology with doughnuts is less Timmy than tinny

      The other week, the Toronto Star assigned Kenneth Kidd to do a big story on Tim Hortons as an icon of Canadian identity. This was a couple of days before that odd incident with the fellow going into the men's room and blowing himself into a big bunch of Timbits, so nothing tricky was required, just the usual maple boosterism. And naturally the first thing Kidd did was call up the Canadian media's Mister Rent-A-Quote, Michael Adams, the author of Fire And Ice and American Backlash, and a man who can be relied upon to provide some sociological context to the lamest premise.

      Mr. Adams evidently thought about the old doughnut-chain thing for a nanosecond and then slotted it effortlessly into his grand universal theory about the difference in American and Canadian "values." Canadians are communal and gregarious, while Americans are paranoid and cowering in terror behind the gates of their stockades. "Americans aspire to independence," he told the Star's man. "Their model is to drive out of town, Gary Cooper with Grace Kelly, and get on their ranch and she's in the kitchen and having babies and he's standing at the ranch gate with a gun, saying, 'no trespassing.' "

      Really? Is that in the director's cut? No matter. This turned out to be just the sort of thing Kenneth Kidd needed for the piece and he ran with it: "Canadians, by contrast, are far less fearful," he decides. "Americans now increasingly use churches as their replacement for a sense of community lost to long working hours and lengthy commutes."

      I don't know if, in the course of their research, Messrs. Kidd and Adams ever visited any "communities" -- in, say, New England, or old England, or Belgium, or Slovenia, or even Canada. But, if they did, they might have noticed that you drive through the outskirts of the "community," past the various "dwelling units," and arrive at the centre of the "community" -- often called a "village green" or a "town square" -- and smack dab at the centre of the centre you'll see a big building with a cross on it, and perhaps a sign saying "St. George's Parish Church. Consecrated 1352." Nonetheless, undaunted, two grown men are willing to argue in the Toronto Star that Americans have to make do with going to church because they've lost all sense of community.

      But not in Canada. "We don't go to church as much on Sundays," says Adams. "We go shopping and we go to Tim's." Gotcha. Americans are forced to worship Christ, whereas Canadians are free to worship crullers.

      "Timbit Nation," as the Toronto Star headlined it, belongs to a thriving genre of journalism: the feel-good story that's somehow very demoralizing. It's less Timmy than tinny -- hollow and rather sad. I yield to no one in my admiration for a glazed maple cream doughnut, but I'm not sure I'd regard it as sufficient replacement for the entire Judeo-Christian inheritance. And with the best will in the world, standing in line at a Tim's one Sunday morning a couple of months back, I couldn't detect any great sense of community: as slow-moving doughnut lines go, it was not unpleasant, but nor was it an exercise in national affirmation. As a viable thesis, that and a buck'll get you a cup of coffee.

    • Commentators like Andrew Sullivan have attacked Ponnuru, somewhat hysterically, not for his book's argument but for its title. In fact, the author got it from Ronald Dworkin, a liberal legal theorist, pro-abortion and pro-euthanasia, but nevertheless intellectually honest enough to admit that these are "choices for death." They lead not just to literal death but to a societal and spiritual death, too. In The Cube and the Cathedral, George Weigel begins his lively dissection of "politics without God" with a bracing series of questions, including the following:

      "Why do certain parts of Europe exhibit a curious, even bizarre, approach to death? Why did so many of the French prefer to continue their summer vacations during the European heat wave of 2003, leaving their parents unburied and warehoused in refrigerated lockers (which were soon overflowing)? Why is death increasingly anonymous in Germany, with no death notice in the newspapers, no church funeral ceremony, no secular memorial service -- 'as though,' Richard John Neuhaus observed, 'the deceased did not exist'?"

      You really need a Euro-Michael Adams to answer those questions -- to point out that Americans' collapsing communities are driving them to flock to grim rain-swept cemeteries and huddle round burial plots of friends and family in the forlorn hope of recovering the lost sense of society obliterated by their paranoid Second Amendment fearfulness, while the Frenchman by contrast affirms his belief both in personal interconnectedness and collective responsibility by spending the weekend with his wife's sister at a nude beach on the Côte d'Azur, secure in the knowledge that his dead mother on ice in the meat locker back in town is the state's problem, not his.

      I seem to have wandered a long way from the Timbit Nation, but not really: as the pieties of late 20th-century progressivism crumble like a stale cruller, their defenders take refuge in self-deception, trumpeting defects as virtues, to the point where a man cradling his coffee alone in a doughnut shop on a Sunday morning is a stronger affirmation of community than a packed church. Oh well. If there's an emptiness at the heart of the advanced social-democratic state, at least Canada's worshipping the doughnut; Europe's worshipping the hole.

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