Timothy's buys 90-strong mmmuffins chain

Timothy's Coffees of the World Inc. has acquired mmmuffins Canada Corp., one of the country's largest privately held franchise companies with more than 90 stores.

The Toronto Star
January 7, 2002

Timothy's buys 90-strong mmmuffins chain
Canadian Press

TORONTO — Timothy's Coffees of the World Inc. has acquired mmmuffins Canada Corp. as jostling continues for a bigger piece of the pie in the Canadian coffee shop market.

The competitors in Canada's coffee sector have been taking part in a strategic shuffle to prevail against giant chains like Tim Hortons and U.S.-based Starbucks.

Acquisition of the mmmuffins chain of more than 90 stores allows Timothy's to offer more specialty baked goods and expand across Canada, Becky McKinnon, chief executive officer of the 150-outlet Timothy's specialty coffee chain, said yesterday.

The mmmuffins chain operates across the country with retail brands such as mmmarvelous mmmuffins, mmm Specialty Bakery & Beverage Co., michel's baguette and Muffin Break. It has its own bakery division and provides ready-to-bake or freshly baked goods to its outlets daily.

The company is one of the country's largest privately held franchise companies.

"One of the growth strategies we've been looking at for the Timothy's concept over the last little while is expansion of our food menu and gaining greater control over the food product," said Ms. McKinnon, one of the major shareholders of Timothy's along with her family.

Timothy's runs its own coffee roasting plant that supplies its stores, as well as other operators as part of its wholesale business, Ms. McKinnon said.

"That level of control over a product that you're specializing in adds to the strength of the concept," she said. "And that was really the appeal of mmmuffins."

Richard Talbot, president of Talbot Consultants International, said the deal "gives [Timothy's] access to another brand name and also a brand name which already has the connotations of the kind of direction most people are going," which is toward muffins and more baked goods.

"We felt the synergies of those two areas of expertise would strengthen both concepts," Ms. McKinnon said.

The financial terms of yesterday's deal between the two private companies weren't revealed, but it's the second major recent acquisition by Timothy's. Last year, the company acquired 52 GrabbaJabba outlets.

The mmmuffins acquisition expands the number of Timothy's-owned or -operated locations to more than 240, making Timothy's the second-largest Canadian-based specialty coffee chain, after Second Cup Ltd.

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