Frozen doughnuts frost founder

"I've tried them and they're certainly not the same," he said yesterday. The consumer backlash over Tim Hortons' frozen doughnuts, including a threatened boycott, saddens the 72-year-old. "Of course it bothers me. This is not a philosophy that I would have embraced if I still owned the company."

The Ottawa Citizen
October 23, 2003

Frozen doughnuts frost founder
Famous sweets now pre-cooked, frozen and shipped, Joyce confirms
Deborah Tetley

CALGARY — Nearly 40 years ago, former police officer Ron Joyce opened a doughnut and coffee shop in Hamilton and watched it evolve into a Canadian icon called Tim Hortons, recognized for its commitment to community and the freshness of its product.

Today, the Calgary-based co-founder is selling his remaining two million shares to parent company Wendy's International, disappointed in the chain's new philosophy on what "Always Fresh" means, and is blasting management for not being open with customers.

Mr. Joyce, who sold most of the company to Wendy's in 1995 for $620 million, confirmed what consumers have been saying for months and officials at head office denied — that the doughnuts are being fried in a factory in Brantford then frozen and shipped to warehouses. Once in store, the already "95-per-cent cooked" product is baked and served.

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

The consumer backlash over Tim Hortons' frozen doughnuts, including a threatened boycott, saddens the 72-year-old. "Of course it bothers me. This is not a philosophy that I would have embraced if I still owned the company."

Mr. Joyce reached a deal last year to sell his remaining block of shares back to Wendy's by January 2004, as part of estate planning. He has been gradually selling off his holdings under the deal, said to be worth about $297 million.

Until yesterday, Patti Jameson, vice-president of corporate communications for Tim Hortons, would only say the company is conducting tests.

But after learning of Mr. Joyce's comments, Bill Moir, the executive vice-president of marketing, said yesterday the company wasn't trying to keep secrets from its customers, just from the competition.

Mr. Joyce said the customers deserve to know what's happening.

"I'm disappointed in senior management, truly disappointed," he said. "They should have come out right of the closet and said: 'We are going into a new method of producing our product and we think they're going to be better and they're going to be fresher.'"

In some ways, he regrets selling the chain, which he took control of when his business partner in the company, NHL star Tim Horton, died in a car accident in 1974.

Mr. Joyce, a native of Tatamagouche, N.S., moved to Hamilton in 1956 and became a police officer. Eight years later, he hooked up with Mr. Horton and, through a combination of fresh doughnuts and piping hot coffee, became a multimillionaire worth a reported $862 million last year.

© Copyright 2003 The Ottawa Citizen


Brought to you by WikidFranchise.org

Risks: Boycott, Central commissary, Veil of secrecy, Treat franchisees like family, Canada, United States, 20031023 Frozen doughnuts

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License