We recently asked our guests to share their stories about the morning coffee rituals they have with us, the lengths they’ve gone to get their Timmies fix, and how else Tim Hortons has played a role in their lives. We loved this story about the Killeys and what might just be the biggest collection of Tim Hortons memorabilia we've ever seen.Have your own #TimsCoffeeCommitment story? Share it with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org!
One Christmas in the late 1980s, David and Joanne Killey unwrapped a thoughtful gift from one of their three kids: a commemorative mug from Tim Hortons. They couldn’t have known then, but that memorable piece of memorabilia led to a Tim Hortons hobby for the ages. Their collection has grown to include more than 1,700 unique pieces (nearly 4,000 including duplicates) and the Langley, B.C., couple has documented it all in a book.
Their massive collection – which includes everything from Tim Hortons-branded charm bracelets, umbrellas and earmuffs to toys, dishes and clothing – was pieced together over decades of scouring garage sales, antique stores, and online auctions, not to mention all the cool artifacts they’ve picked up first hand at Tim Hortons restaurants while touring Canada in their RV.
We caught up with David on how they became the avid collectors of everything Timmies.
After the mugs, what was the first item you remember buying as a collector?
They had these coffee tins that were not really sold in stores that matched the coffee cups. And then we found there was a matching lunch pail – the coffee tin, mug and lunch pail were all a matching set.
We thought it was pretty cool. We started to show people. And it just snowballed.
What’s your favourite item in your collection?
For me, the most-prized item is a 45 record. It’s an old, flexible, floppy record (a Flexi disc), not the hard vinyl discs like you’d mostly see. There was a series around the late ‘60s of what they called “Hockey Talks” with major hockey players. Tim Horton had one, and he was talking to kids about things to do while you’re playing hockey.
And then any of the antique plush Timbits toys.
Has this become a family hobby?
My wife and I are both into it now in a big way. Our kids are right behind us. If they spot something that might be an antique, they go get it for us. Our oldest granddaughter took hundreds and hundreds of pictures for our book.
We know we’re going to pass the collection down to our kids.
Where do you find the best stuff?
We love to travel. When we’re in Ontario, we’ll get the map out and find all the antique stores along the highway and stop at every one of them. The best way is to ask them is: “Do you have anything Tim Hortons?”
There are a lot of people collecting out there now, which is probably why we don’t find a whole lot anymore.
My wife and I travel across Canada in an RV. We’ve been to Tim Hortons everywhere. We don’t do drive-thru. If we’re travelling along and there’s a Tim Hortons, we’ll find a place to pull the rig over and go in, get a coffee, and see what’s for sale.
What does Tim Hortons mean to you?
Way back when I lived in St. Thomas, Ontario, I used to go to Tim Hortons every morning for coffee. I’d sit with my coworkers on these little barstools they had back then before going to work (in construction). It was great. It was the place to go in our town.
People love Tim Hortons. That wasn’t what drew us to collecting when we started but it kind of is now. Everybody knows Tim Hortons.Have your own #TimsCoffeeCommitment story? Share it with us at: email@example.com!