It’s been years in the making.
A second location has been escaping the grasp of Tim Hortons’ franchisee, Suzanne Desfosses, for a little over 2 years now. It’s like a vicious game of whack-a-mole, if ever there was one.
“In the past, we’ve always been close; but you miss that one signature or something. It’s just never gone the way we’ve wanted it to go.”
That was until today when Desfosses signed the lease to open up a downtown location. The new store will hold up shop in the Centre Square Mall, right near The Source.
“We’ve tried to find space downtown, and then we decided to go into the mall. Initially, we tried to have a drive-thru location set up, but there isn’t a spot for one downtown. That’s when we decided to set something up in the mall.”
There was nothing spontaneous about the situation. People from the Tim Hortons head office had to come in to look at the location; immense planning was put into the design.
“We looked at a lot of Calgary restaurants that are in malls. We wanted to pick a really beautiful design for downtown.”
Construction will begin on June 5th, and Desfosses says that they won’t be finished until July 24th. She would like to stress that that doesn’t mean the restaurant will be opened at that time.
“We’re aiming for early August. The timing really works out because our main location will be going under heavy construction around that time. You won’t even be able to recognize the store, that’s how big it’s going to be.”
The timing may be pivotal for her, but the impact for the downtown area may be even greater. Desfosses mentioned the public demand for a location closer to Downtown Yellowknife. When you consider the amount of employment that is built into the area, the desire to drive across town to get coffee may dwindle when surrounded by cafes. Desfosses says that while she is opening up yet another coffee shop, she hopes that it’s not a blow to neighbouring businesses.
“It’s more than just coffee. They sell other things, we sell other things. There’s enough room for all of us there. We really believe that this will revitalize the neighbourhood and the surrounding area.”