I have many Canadian readers of this blog, and could let this anniversary pass without mentioning it.
If you have traveled to Canada, you have seen, passed by or even stopped by a Canadian institution older than the maple leaf flag and beloved by Canadians everywhere.
It's Timmy's, AKA Tim Horton's, the quick service institution that expat Canadians in the States wax poetic about. Tim Horton's is such a iconic part of Canadian life that a few years ago a Timmy's truck was sent to Afghanistan to serve its legendary coffee to Canadian Armed Forces personnel stationed there.
No federal Canadian election cycle is complete unless you see the leaders of the major parties in the Great White North working the crowd at a Tim Horton's location of their choosing in various parts of the country or working behind the counter.
And the love of a Canadian and Timmy's starts at birth. I still laugh about a 2011 conversation I had with Renee's son Mayhem in which he innocently asked me how do I survive in this world without Timmy's.
I have a Tim Horton's coffee mug courtesy of Rafael McDonnell, who got it for me after his last Canadian vacation complete with tea and hot chocolate I have long since destroyed.
Tim Horton's was founded on May 17, 1964 in Hamilton, ON by its namesake, former Toronto Maple Leafs hockey player Tim Horton and former police Ron Joyce as a quick service donut and coffee shop. The concept took off to the point in which Joyce was made a full partner in 1967 and they were setting up franchises in southern Ontario. Horton was killed in a car accident in 1974, but Tim Horton's grew to be a food service juggernaut that clocks $3 billion a year in sales and has 4304 worldwide restaurant locations as of June 30, 2013.
3468 of those Timmy's locations are in Canada, 807 in the United States, and 29 locations are in the Gulf Cooperation Council states. There are plans to open an additional 300 new U.S. locations by 2018 in various American cities including St. Louis, Youngstown, OH, Fort Wayne, IN and more in North Dakota.
To celebrate their 50th anniversary, Tim Horton's set up a replica of the original store in Yonge and Dundas Square and sent it back to the 60's, the decade of its birth. There were people dressed in 60's clothing, cars from that era and a replica of the first store passing out Timmy's products and several of Horton's teammates on that Maple Leaf squad.
And yep, looking forward to the day I can buy my own Tim Horton's hot chocolate to take back to Baja Alberta. FYI, if you're wondering where is Baja Alberta, it's what Renee calls Texas. She still calls Alberta 'that wretched province'.
Happy anniversary Timmy's! May you continue to grow, prosper and put some locations in Texas someday..