It’s hard to remember a time in our community before Tim Hortons opened its doors. Many of us lived here ‘pre-Timmies’ and likely ask ourselves ‘how did we survive?’
Andrew Marriott opened the doors to Tim Hortons here in Chestermere on December 30, 2005 making it Chestermere’s first coffee shop. It quickly became a large and valuable asset to our community, but when you have a company that has been in the lives of Canadians since 1964 and go well above just serving us our coffee and combine that with someone whose heart is as big as his business sense, it goes without saying that our Tim Hortons was going to be a huge success.
Franchise owner, Andrew Marriott reflects on the past decade saying, “The first year owning any business is the most amount of stress anyone can imagine, especially with a 24 hour shop! I remember taking my first day off – 11 months after I opened… 7 days a week, many times 100 hour weeks and a few 16-20 hour days”.
But with the growing success of the Tim Hortons that are under Marriotts management, his days are now much different. “Nowadays I spend a lot of time with administration of the 5 locations, but more time spent on new restaurant development. We have 2 more new locations into the City of Calgary for development permit that we hope will open in 2016. My job has now moved into acquiring lease lands, negotiating deals and permit drawings, this process does get extremely time consuming”.
Here in Chestermere we’ve seen first-hand the changes and growth that happen under Marriotts watch. After opening up, that first location soon had to undergo a slight makeover when a double drive thru was constructed to facilitate those peak hours that before the double drive thru was created, would leave vehicles lined out the parking lot and up Chestermere Blvd. This year also brought in a second location right across the street in the now shared space of Petro Canada.
With those accomplishments just here in our city, Marriott tells us, “My goal was to have 3-4 locations after 10 years, so I am happy with the results. What makes it more satisfying is so many of my staff that have come through the system, from entry level – now into management and administrative support roles. The new restaurant growth will continue to provide means and huge upward opportunities for so many well deserving team members”. He continues saying, “I have been fortunate to have many long term team members, and even luckier to have 3 with me since the day I opened on December 30th, 2005. We often enjoy chatting about the past, some great students and full timers that have worked at Tims in years past. Now we are open 365/24/7 there aren’t too many slow moments around. But I wouldn’t want it any other way, I don’t like to be too bored!”
Even with all of that in his daily schedule, Marriott also holds great pride in giving back to his community. You can often find events being held in our city where the coffee and donuts have been donated by Marriott, items for silent auctions, participating in charity events and even showing support by specially created donuts. Marriott describes one that he’s most proud of by saying, “We had a tough time 10 years ago getting our Timbit Hockey program into our ‘town’ as Chestermere had a locally branded namesake, however we are now proud to sponsor all forms of Timbit programs in Chestermere. Coupled with that support, we have been eager to support the volunteers in Chestermere that give back so much to our community”.
With Chestermere growing by leaps and bounds, that means more people will be moving into our city and looking to order their double double. So, I asked Marriott where he saw himself and the franchise in another 10 years. “Tims in Chestermere might expand into Waterbridge when that development opens up, however we see the real opportunity for us is SE Calgary. With the recent purchase of Tim Hortons from Burger King, there has been a dramatic shift of responsibilities. In the old world, our corporate office did all our new restaurant growth; today – it is all up to the restaurant owner. Commercial development is my background, so I see this fitting well. But at the same time, I’m getting married shortly and I need to ease up on the long hours and 6-7 days a week. I have brought a business partner on board that will start full time with me on January 1st, you will see Doug behind the Chestermere counters quite a bit in January – and with his 22 years of corporate experience, will take our business up a notch, not only in expansion, but ensuring guest excellence and efficient execution”.
Chestermere wishes you a Happy 10th Birthday Tim Hortons and thank you for all you do for the community Mr. Marriott!