Retail News: Tim Horton’s Expansion Plans go beyond Katy

The Clay Road location in Katy was the first Timmies to break ground in Texas, and will likely be open by the end of summer.

Tim Horton’s is on the brink of arriving in Houston. The Canadian Coffee and Donut Shop marks one of many chain doughnut shops trying their hand in Houston at the present time. Dunkin’ and Krispy Kreme still fall second in terms of notoriety to local chain Shipley’s. At this point, Timmy’s has filed permits for three locations in Texas, all located within the Houston area. These stores represent the chain’s furthest Southern stores, outside of a failed attempt at expanding to Flordia in the 1980s. According to an interview with the Houston Chronicle, the new stores are coming to town via a longstanding partnership with a Houston-based Popeyes franchisee.

The Hayes Road Location is in a bit of an odd spot.

These locations will also be somewhat modified to better fit our market. Slimming down the dining room, and menu to better pair them against Starbucks. While the exact menu has not been announced the Chronicle mentioned that it would be mostly based around baked goods and breakfast sandwiches. A similarly timed expansion is taking place in Atlanta, netting their metro area a total of 15 stores (in addition to Shipley’s and Whataburger!). If all goes well, the Houston area could expect a similar store count within the next few years. In an interesting twist, Tim Hortons is also not the only foreign fast-food bakery expanding in Houston. Red Ribbon Bakeshop, owned by Filipino Fast Food Corp, Jolibee recently opened a location in a former Dunkin’ Donuts at 13421 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77082, near the new Jollibee location. While the two aren’t directly comparable, it will be interesting to see how market adaptations affect two concepts from completely different backgrounds.

7 comments

  1. As a Canadian living in Houston, I’m beyond excited. I live in South Houston so I won’t be making the drive to Katy just for coffee but hopefully they expand to more locations further south. Not trying to shame other companies, but I haven’t been able to find coffee that I like, I’ve lived in Chicago, Florida, and Houston and I’ve tried like 2-3 dozen different coffee places. Even McDonald’s coffee taste different here compared to Canada. Starbucks is the only coffee that tastes the same in both countries but their coffee doesn’t even taste good to begin with, it’s just a ton of sugar in most of their drinks.

    A coffee double-double, steeped tea double-double, iced cappuccino, or the boston cream donut (or apple fritter) are what I love at Tim Hortons, just in case someone needed recommendations 🙂

  2. I have never had Tim Hortons, but I thought they were strictly Canadian and had no plans to ever expand into the US besides selling their bagged coffees in stores here, so this one comes as a shocker. It will be interesting to see how well they will do here, especially since Shipley’s is hotly popular here and is beloved by Houstonians everywhere. They also have to fight off Dunkin, the small number of Krispy Kremes and the many independent, mom and pop donut shops. The donut landscape in Houston is already competitive enough as is so this will be very interesting to see what how their stint here plays out.

    1. Krispy Kreme is definitely competition because it tastes amazing. Dunkin/Shipley’s, although loved by all of my co-workers, can’t hold a candle to the baked goods that Tim Horton’s has. We literally had Shipley’s every day at my hospital during peak COVID when patient’s families would drop them off for us, but I personaly don’t see the hype behind it. I know taste is highly subjective though, so who knows how it ends up doing.

  3. As a Canadian living in Texas (DFW), I’m pumped! Starbucks just isn’t good coffee IMO and Dunkin is just dirty water. Never had Shipleys so can’t say anything, but nonetheless, can’t wait to sip on a medium double double and enjoy some timbits. Can’t wait for the expansion into DFW.

    1. I consider Starbucks to be overpriced and overrated. I have never been to Canada and don’t know how Tim Hortons is, but I would love to give them a try.

  4. As someone quite familiar with Canada’s fast food options, I must say that Tim Hortons would not be first on my list of places to bring down to Houston. That would have to go to A&W. The Canadian A&W is not the same as the US A&W. The Canadian A&W is quite good and very popular in Canada. As for Tim Hortons itself, it’s hard for me to say if they’ll do well down here. I think they’ll have a hard time topping the familiar names of Starbucks, Shipley, and McDonald’s, but some of those places are so swamped in the mornings that perhaps a ‘reliever’ restaurant will be welcomed by some breakfast/coffee fans.

    1. I think the fact that Popeyes and Tim Hortons (along with Burger King and Firehouse Subs) are owned by the same company is what opened doors for Tim’s to expand here.

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