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Oh yeah, I like coffee! #11: 2011

Posted in on a + note by Admin on April 25, 2011

I am not a coffee drinker. I have way too much bounce in my step without adding caffeine. However, I must confess that, for the last few weeks, I have started my day off with a trip to my local Tim Hortons coffee shop at Imperial and Waterloo.

Nope, not the drive-thru. I like to park, get out of my vehicle, and walk up to the counter. I even like standing in line and watching folks order a double-double (that’s Canadian for coffee with 2 sugars and 2 creams). I like how we Canadians are content to politely stand in line waiting for our turn. From a librarian’s point of view, going to Tim Hortons in the wee hours of the morning is a very “Carnegie-esque” experience, like walking up to the big, old circulation desk in the basement of the Barrie Public Library.

Tim Horton’s was founded in 1964 by Canadian Hockey legend Tim Horton in Hamilton, Ontario. Initially, they focused on great coffee and deliciously fresh donuts, including their bestselling Apple Fritter and my favourite, the Dutchie, an oddly-shaped, square donut filled with raisins. However, one of the secrets to their amazing success is that they constantly adapt to changes in Canadian society. For example, in 1976, they launched the Timbit, a bite-sized donut, in response to the calorie-conscious consumer. In the 1990s, they began offering healthy muffins and lunches. Currently, there are more than 3,000 restaurants across Canada and 600 locations in the United States.

Perhaps the best part of going to Tim Hortons is the actual interaction with the staff; it is like going to a fall church supper. They always have a warm greeting. It’s not fancy, but it’s not a canned “How can I help you?” It’s clear that Tim Hortons hires for attitude, not just skill! That isn’t to say that they aren’t efficient, because they most definitely are. There is no messing with Timmie’s girls, as they pour your coffee, just the way you like.

It is this excellent customer service that has turned me into a coffee drinker, and we in library land have much to learn from this service model. Tim Hortons gets it. They are respectful of my time; they focus on quality and understand that I want what I want, without any fancy lingo or fanfare.

We in library land should do the same!

Kitty Pope
kpope@library.guelph.on.ca #11 April/11

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2 Responses to 'Oh yeah, I like coffee! #11: 2011'

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  1. K R said,

    Hi Kitty,

    Tim Hortons certainly has the Canadian branding, but as a local resident of Guelph I highly recommend trying Planet Bean! Their beans are certified organic, fair trade and even roasted here in Guelph. Nothing better than local businesses supporting one another.

  2. Katie said,

    I agree with K R! Especially with Main Branch being downtown, there are so many wonderful cafes to choose from. Planet Bean, Capistrano, Coco latte, and of course my all-time personal favourite: Red Brick. I would definitely recommend checking some of these places out! They most certainly feel more welcoming than a Tim Hortons…not to knock Timmies, but these places just have great atmospheres and great coffee to boot!


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