Double Double

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Tim Horton was a Canadian Hockey player who was looking for a second income in the 1960s. He needed enough flexibility to allow him to continue his hockey career. As a result, he tried selling cars and then, when encouraged by friends who were also into the food industry, began opening chicken and burger outlets. None of these were successful.

Details regarding the idea of starting a coffee and donut shop are either confusing or missing. Tim Horton had been involved in businesses with different names and had partnered or been inspired by a number of individuals. The person, however, who is credited with co-founding the Tim Hortons business that is familiar to most Canadians is Ron Joyce. Tim contributed his name to the company. Joyce provided his business expertise.

In 1974 Horton died in a single-vehicle accident which was determined to be the result of speed combined with alcohol and drug use.

Ron Joyce approached Horton's widow, Lori who was raising four daughters and she sold Tim's share of the business to him for one million dollars. Years later, she took Joyce to Court stating that she should have been paid more but because she had been using drugs and alcohol at the time she has vulnerable. She lost the case.

Joyce built the business primarily through franchises to the point that Tim Hortons outlets have become a very strong part of the Canadian culture. Moving into the United States market was not as successful. In fact, the merger with Wendy's Restaurants resulted in Tim Hortons returning to Canada.

"Double Double" is a very detailed account not only of how this company originated and grew but also of the factors that contributed to this growth. There were times when, I felt that author Douglas Hunter, was even too detailed, especially when he describes the endeavors of other hockey players during the same time period.

Despite this, "Double Double" helps the readers to understand how things such as the use of vehicles and desire for food alternatives outside of the home provided fertile ground for both drive-through and restaurant-style start-ups.

Hunter chronicles the social and political situations have caused change and also have been changed by the Tim Hortons business. He also describes how competition has forced management to consider how they can continue to satisfy their customers.

The critics have also been included in this book. For example, nutritionists have studied calorie counts of products being sold and have made Canadians aware of their contribution to the obesity problem that is increasing in this country.

"Double Double" offers a very comprehensive overview of how the media, military, political world as well as citizens from every area of Canada has viewed and contributed to the Tim Hortons story.


Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email office@drlindahancock.com


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