Plans announced for full-service Tim Hortons on MRU campus
by Ashton Faulkner
Starting next year, Mount Royal students will no longer have time to read entire textbooks while waiting in line for a cup of coffee. After seemingly years of anticipation, a full-service Tim Hortons will finally be opening on campus next year.
Double-double enthusiasts will have access to everything a standard Tim Hortons offers — from iced cappuccinos to chili. The full-scale location is also expected to reduce the long lines that occasionally snake into Main Street.
“I’m beyond thrilled to hear that they are giving us a real Tim Hortons at MRU,” said Jessica Phillips, a first-year communications student. “I’m looking forward to being able to eat there for breakfast before my first class at 8 a.m., getting Iced Capps when I need a pick-me-up and overall having more options than we are given right now.”
Phillips said she never buys from the current Tim Hortons.
“I don’t feel compelled to give them money because I’d be settling for whatever they have,” she said.
Brent Mann, Sodexo general manager at MRU, said visiting the new Tim Hortons will be like walking into any other full-service location.
“It’s going to make life a lot easier for everyone,” he said.
Mann said the demand for a Tim Hortons at Mount Royal is suggested by a recent rise in sales at the current location — which have gone up 15 per cent since September — and also by current customers’ loyalty.
“I admire every single person who stands in that line and waits for their coffee,” Mann said. “Being here for as long as I have, I know a lot of people on campus, so I see many of my friends in that line.
“I admire people because they obviously love the products, and because of their loyalty to stand in line to get that cup of coffee, although everyone is always short on time.”
Mann also mentioned he was impressed by the students who started “Petition to Improve Mount Royal University’s Tim Hortons,” a Facebook page, which has attracted over 700 members and advocated for a full-service location on campus.
“There aren’t a lot of true causes that people are fighting for on campus,” Mann said.
Samantha Imbrogno, an open studies student who co-created the group, said she was shocked how many people joined.
“I think so many people joined because it was something that really bothered everyone and no one really said anything out loud,”she said.
Mann said getting a full-service location has been on the top of his priority list since he started his current position two years ago. He added there were many details to work out between Sodexo, Tim Hortons and the University before plans could be put in motion.
The new location will expand out from the current kiosk, so Mr. Sub will be moved near the recreation centre to provide more space. The kiosk will remain open during the renovations, so customers will still have access to a Tim’s coffee on campus. Mann said the kiosk will serve its last cup of coffee “right up until the real deal opens.”
Man Yip, owner of Good Earth in Wyckham House, said he doesn’t believe a full-service Tim Hortons will impact his business’ coffee sales. Although, he said it could have a marginal impact on food sales.
“We have an established customer base that appreciates our speciality coffee products,” he said.
Yip added that it’s not just his business, but all of Wyckham House food vendors that may be affected. Construction is set to begin in six weeks, and will take eight weeks to complete. It’s expected to be open for fall semester 2011.