Tim Hortons is expanding its chain of restaurants in Detroit. The restaurant famous for its coffee, baked goods, sandwiches and convenient drive-thrus has set up shop on East Jefferson Avenue across from the Belle Isle bridge. This is the prominent Canadian chain's second Detroit shop, with the first located in the Millender Center downtown.
"Tim Hortons is thrilled to be a growing part of the Detroit community," said Charles F. Chapman, Tim Hortons regional marketing manager. "Last December we opened our 500th restaurant in the United States in Detroit, and are pleased to have reached 90 in the Metro Detroit-area with the recent opening of our store on Jefferson. We have seen a positive response from the community and look forward to continuing to serve our customers in Detroit."
The 2,000-sq. ft. facility represents a $300,000 investment, and employs 20 people. While the business itself is an economic boost to the East Jefferson corridor, Tim Hortons brings to Detroit the added draw of an international brand. "It fulfills the niche of having a brand name in the city," said Mary Grace Wilbert, retail business attraction consultant for Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. "That really helps you a lot more when it comes to trying to market the city."
The Tim Hortons store neighbors two other national brand restaurants – Wendy's and Big Boy. "One basically brings development and attraction to the other one. And all three of them are right across from Belle Isle," said Wilbert.
Detroit Economic Growth Association, a foundation-funded affiliate of DEGC supported the opening of Tim Hortons through its Jefferson Avenue Retail Readiness program. The initiative offers matching grants to companies opening new businesses along the East Jefferson corridor. The companies and expenditures must meet specific guidelines. Tim Hortons used grant funds to defray half of the cost of remodeling the interior, installing awnings and making other exterior improvements.