After spending most of their lives working in health care, including during the height of the pandemic, brothers Houman and Ash recently achieved a life-long dream and became Tim Hortons restaurants owners.

“At a very young age we were impressed with how much Tim Hortons was involved in local communities. As students, we spent a lot of time prepping for exams at one of the local Tim Hortons restaurants in Victoria, British Columbia where we grew up and having been there for long hours and seeing so many guests come in, we realized how the service and the food brought so much joy to people. We promised ourselves that one day we would be on the other side of the counter greeting guests in our own restaurant,” said Houman.

Back in those days, the brothers spent $180 – “which was a lot of money back then,” Houman notes – on a Tim Hortons coffee maker as a reminder that they would one day own their own restaurant. On May 17, their dream came true as they became owners of two restaurants in Quesnel, British Columbia. They proudly note that May 17thalso happens to be the same day that the first-ever Tim Hortons restaurant opened in Hamilton in 1964. Another coincidence? Their first official sale as Tims owners was for two Triple-Triple coffees, which was what they always ordered as students.

We connected with Houman and Ash about becoming Tims restaurant owners and the parallels between their work in health care and how they plan to support their community through their restaurants.

You were lifelong fans of Tims, but what made you want to transition from health care to being a part of the Tims community?

We have always wanted to help people and have always looked for the good in others. We’ve worked in health care for more than two decades and community involvement has always been a big part of our lives. Making the transition to the Tims community felt very natural given how involved Tims is in the community. We really believe programs such as Tim Hortons Foundation Camps and Timbits Sports enrich individuals’ lives and provide them with opportunities that they may otherwise not have. We love that about the Tims brand.

And we’ve always loved Tims. It had always been a dream for us to one day own our own Tim Hortons restaurant. The purchase of our Tims coffee maker lit a match inside us that we never wanted to go out. So, we did not let it. Now that match is a torch guiding us to pursue a life without limits.

What was it like working in health care during the pandemic? What lessons or experiences from your time in health care have been valuable as a Tims owner?

It was certainly challenging, the pandemic brought fear and uncertainty to every corner of our community. However, like all health care workers, our resilience was fuelled by our determination to help provide safety and bring hope back to our communities.

In terms of transferable lessons or experiences, we’ve always believed in the importance of communication, whether it while delivering patient care or in helping people in the community stay healthy and safe. By understanding how COVID-19 is transmitted, we were able to educate the public on how to minimize transmission risk. We were very impressed and appreciative of the measures Tims took throughout the pandemic to keep team members and guests safe.

We also truly believe in being open to receiving feedback from our team members and our guests to continuously make improvements in our restaurants.

What are you looking forward to in terms of supporting your local community through Tims?

We’re looking forward to being fully engaged in the community. Some plans we have for the future include dedicating a wall in the restaurant to “Quesnel’s Heroes,” which will include local health-care workers, firefighters and police officers.

And we’re also big believers that Tims gives everyone equal opportunities. We’re looking forward to continuing to build out our team, providing employment opportunities and reflecting the diversity of our community.