Tim Hortons, a popular coffee and doughnut chain that dwarfs other fast-food chains in Canada, is coming to Minnesota in a bigger way.
Its parent company, Restaurant Brands International, signed a deal with a Bloomington firm, called Restaurant Development Partners, to begin franchises in Minnesota.
Restaurant Development Partners last week started seeking people to become Tim Hortons franchisees in the state.
The company already has two outlets near Tower, Minn., one at the Fortune Bay resort and casino, and one at the Star Casino near Mahnomen, Minn. In the 1990s, when Tim Hortons was owned by Wendy’s International, the chain briefly had a location in Hopkins.
Tim Hortons has more than 3,600 outlets in Canada, where it accounts for about 25 percent of all fast-food purchases, and about 800 in the U.S., chiefly in Michigan and Ohio. The firm recently made a similar agreement with an Indiana company to seek franchisees in that state.
The company is entering Minnesota just as Dunkin’ Donuts ramps up its efforts to find franchisees and open stores in the state. Dunkin’ Donuts has struck deals with local operators in the Twin Cities, St. Cloud, Duluth and Mankato.
Tim Hortons was started in the 1960s by its namesake, Tim Horton, who spent more than two decades in the National Hockey League, mainly with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The restaurant stands out from U.S. coffee and doughnut shops with an all-day menu.