Coffee lovers line up for opening of North East's new Tim Hortons branch in Boldon
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The Canadian chain opened its second North East branch at 7am on Monday, October 18 with the first people in the walk-in and drive-thru queues both receiving gift cards entitling them to drink for free for 12 months.
First to enter the store were Carl Tudor and Cherelle Rutherford, accompanied by children Megan, 16; Chloe, 11; Isabella, seven; Samuel, four, and six-month-old Dylan.
"We were here for 3am – the kids have been asleep in the car,” said Carl, from Hedworth.
"Tim Hortons is just really, really good – the food is nice and the coffee is great.”
Fifty-year-old railway worker Craig Henderson was first in the drive-thru line, having developed a taste for Tim Hortons while on duty.
He said: "I work for Cross Country Trains and Tim Hortons have a branch at Birmingham New Street station.
"I am a bit of a coffee snob – I like freshly ground coffee and Tim Hortons is really good.”
Manager Amy Appleby is also in charge of the chain’s first North East outlet, at Washington.
She is expecting the new branch to be a big hit, and said: “Hopefully it is going to be really busy.
"We think the evening sales here are going to be massive because we are so close to the cinema and Nando’s, but we also have a lot of factories nearby and Nissan is not far away, so we expect to have a lot of people coming off nightshift and calling in for the £1.99 breakfast.”
The opening has created dozens of new jobs, with some still up for grabs.
Amy added: There will proabl;y be about 120 to 130 jobs created altogether. I have filled over 100 so far and I have still got people applying.”
David Robinson is the company’s store opening manager, touring the country to assist in the opening of new branches.
Speaking on Monday, he said: "The local community seems to be really engaged – we have already had lots of customers trying to come in when we have been conducting training.”