St. Louis group opening 40 Tim Hortons

by Josh Sosland
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ST. LOUIS — Plans for the expansion of Toronto-based Tim Hortons Inc. in the United States became clearer June 20 with the announcement that a St. Louis local area developer will open 40 Tim Hortons Café & Bake Shops. Show Me Hospitality said it will open the locations in the greater St. Louis area by 2019. In February, Tim Hortons announced aggressive plans to add 300 U.S. stores by the end of 2018, and said it already had signed development agreements to open 100. These included 40 in St. Louis and others in Youngstown, Ohio; Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Minot and Fargo, N.D.

“We were attracted to the Tim Hortons brand for its strong history, vitality, and solid operations,” said Eric Sigurdson, president, Show Me Hospitality. “Most-importantly we know St. Louisans will embrace and enjoy its premium coffee and wide variety of great tasting food and beverages. Bringing this iconic brand to St. Louis has been my goal for a long time.”

Mr. Sigurdson has experience as a franchisee in the donut business, having led Sweet Traditions, which had development rights for Krispy Kreme in Illinois and St. Louis beginning in 1997. Several years later, during a period Krispy Kreme was struggling, Mr. Sigurdson crossed swords with the company. A 2005 lawsuit sought to compel the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based chain to continue supplying Sweet Traditions despite the franchisee’s severe financial woes. The case was settled in 2006, and Mr. Sigurdson sold the business that same year, a spokesperson for Show Me Hospitality said.

“We are confident that our partners at Show Me Hospitality will lead the charge and make a strong impact for the brand in this market,” said Mike Meilleur, executive vice-president, Tim Hortons U.S. “We look forward to entering and growing in the metro St. Louis market over the coming years.”

Show Me Hospitality said initial Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop restaurants will open in St. Louis in 2015.

“We will open both free standing restaurants with drive thru, and kiosks in hospitals, universities, corporate campuses, transportations centers, sporting arenas and other areas where our breakfast, lunch, dinner and all-day snacking makes sense,” Mr. Sigurdson added.
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