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Posted on Thu. Feb. 27, 2014 - 12:01 am EDT

Tim Hortons planning 15 franchised restaurants in Fort Wayne

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Tim Hortons, a restaurant chain that originated in Canada, has plans for 15 franchised restaurants to open in Fort Wayne over the next few years.

This week the company announced its five-year strategic plan, including a goal of opening 800 new locations across North America by 2018. Tim Hortons plans to open 500 restaurants in Canada and 300 in the U.S. by 2018.

A company statement says Tim Hortons has signed a development agreement for 15 franchised restaurants in Fort Wayne.

The chain was founded in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario. The first restaurants sold only coffee and doughnuts. Then the chain started selling Timbits (doughnut holes) in 1976. Then came muffins, cakes, pies, croissants, cookies, soups and sandwiches. The chain also is known for its coffee.

In 1995, Tim Hortons merged with Wendy's International in the US. Tim Hortons restaurants are in the Midwest and East.

The Canadian operation is 95 percent franchise owned and operated, and plans in the US call for the same strategy as expansion progresses. Currently, there are more than 3,000 restaurants across Canada, and more than 600 locations in the United States.

In March 2006, Tim Hortons completed an initial public offering of the company and was fully spun off as a separate company in September 2006.

As for the real Tim Horton, he may be known for his restaurants today, but he also is remembered for his years playing hockey in the NHL, including on four Stanley Cup teams. He died in a car accident in 1974 and his partner, Ron Joyce became sole owner of the chain.

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