Co-founder of Tim Hortons upset by frozen doughnut plan

"I [Jameson] am the official spokesperson, and until I confirm or deny anything, it simply doesn't exist," she said Tuesday… We don’t want to discuss this through the media…"I'm disappointed in senior management, truly disappointed," he said, adding they should have described the new production methods and explained their reasons for choosing it.

National Post
October 23, 2003

Co-founder of Tim Hortons upset by frozen doughnut plan
Deborah Tetley

CALGARY – The co-founder of Tim Hortons is dismayed the doughnuts-and-coffee chain has decided to reheat frozen pastries from a warehouse rather than bake them locally – an idea he dismissed three decades ago because he wanted to be fresh.

Ron Joyce, who founded the empire with its hockey-star namesake in Hamilton almost 40 years ago and sold it in 1995, said he is disappointed senior management has not been “frank and open” with customers about the new baking process.

"Of course, it bothers me," Mr. Joyce said from his car yesterday. "This is not a philosophy I would have embraced if I still owned the company….However, whether or not I agree with the philosophy is irrelevant."

Mr. Joyce, who sold the company to Wendy’s International eight years ago for $620-million and is in the process of selling his remaining two million shares for about $300-million, confirmed what officials at head office would not – the doughnuts are being fried in a factory in Brantford, Ont., then packaged, frozen and shipped to regional warehouses across the country. Oncein store the “95% cooked” product is baked in an oven and served.

"I've tried them and they're certainly not the same as the other product," he said.

Patti Jameson, vice-president of corporate communications for Tim Hortons, has only said the company is conducting tests.

“I am the official spokesperson and until I confirm or deny anything it simply doesn’t exist,” she said on Tuesday. “If someone else says something, that’s up to them. We don’t want to discuss this through the media.

But after leaning of Mr. Joyce’s comments yesterday, Bill Moir, the executive vice-presidnet of marketing, said the company was trying to keep secrets from the competition, not its customers.

Mr. Joyce said the customers deserve to know the truth.

"I'm disappointed in senior management, truly disappointed," he said, adding they should have described the new production methods and explained their reasons for choosing it.

Mr. Joyce said that about 30 years ago he researched a frozen doughnut being manufactured in New Jersey and considered switching to the process and still deliver a tasty product.

“In the end, I thought there’s one thing we can offer our consumer and that’s a fresh, fresh product, so I decided not to go that way,” he said.

Mr. Joyce said his stock divestment is part of a gradual process related to estate planning, not as a result of a new baking policy.

Can West News Service

(Calgary Herald)


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