Tim Hortons Expands to China

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“Tim Hortons has arrived in China, joining the high-stakes battle to sell coffee in a massive country that mostly drinks tea.

The Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain, run by Burger King-owner Restaurant Brands International Inc., plans to focus on “everyday value” as it muscles up against the ambitious plans of local and foreign players such as Starbucks Corp. Its also debuting at a tricky time as a diplomatic row brews between China and Canada (…).

GEOPOLITICAL ISSUES

Besides joining a crowded field that includes Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc., Coca-Cola Co.’s newly acquired Costa Coffee and local startup Luckin Coffee, Tim Hortons faces a slowing Chinese economy and complicated geopolitical situation.

Its origins as a beloved Canadian brand may run into some nationalistic consumers, given the political tensions underway currently.

Chinese firm Huawei Technologies Co.’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou has been held in Canada at U.S.’ request since last December. The Canadian government said in January that 13 citizens have been detained in China since Wanzhou’s arrest.

Many Chinese consumers, however, seem unfazed. Canada Goose Holdings Inc., which opened its flagship store in Beijing in December amid calls for boycott of Canadian goods, downplayed the backlash fears earlier this month after it saw shoppers line up outside its store.

Tim Hortons has struggled to build a following outside its home country. The chain, named for a Canadian hockey star, is opening its first Chinese shop on Tuesday in People’s Square, in Huangpu, Shanghai and is banking on a growing middle class keen to try Western inventions like its honey cruller donuts.

“Tim Hortons will need to offer not just something unique that Chinese consumers can’t find at other chains, but also spend heavily on marketing to build awareness of the brand,” said Jason Yu, Shanghai-based general manager of Kantar Worldpanel in Greater China.”

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New NYC restaurants: Danish bakery Ole & Steen’s stateside debut, and more

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“Ole & Steen

“NYC’s Nordic offerings continue to grow beyond destinations such as the Great Northern Food Hall with the stateside debut of this 28-year-old Danish bakery. Find Danish rye breads, pastries and tarts, as well as sweet or savory porridges, open-faced sandwiches, salads and more on the all-day menu. Now open Mon.-Fri. from 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat.-Sun. from 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; 873 Broadway, 929-209-1020”

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The Absolute Best Rugelach in New York

Orwashers Bakery

“Amidst the many delights at this iconic New York bakery — sour-cherry-jelly doughnuts, sticky-bun babka, black-and-whites — the rugelach more than hold their own. The twisted nuggets of shortbread pastry glisten with mouth-puckering raspberry or apricot jam — arguably the preeminent jam in the rugelach oeuvre. And they come packed with chewy bites of raisins, a scattering of sunflower seeds, and, if you’re making your rugelach run at the original Upper East Side location, a sultry dip into melted baking chocolate.”

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102-year-old Orwasher’s Bakery is preserving NYC nostalgia while adapting to the times

“The original Upper East Side location of Orwasher’s opened in 1916 on East 78th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues by a Hungarian immigrant named Abraham Orwasher when a swatch of Yorkville was known as “Little Hungary.” The Orwashers used family recipes for the high-quality rye, black, and grain breads of their homeland, baking them all in a basement brick oven and delivering the loaves by horse and carriage. Thought the Upper East Side location looks small from the outside, there were, literally, millions of pounds of dough being mixed there. Doing a quick calculation, Keith estimates that this amounted to more than 10 million loaves of bread over its 103-year history. Today, Orwasher’s churns out between 9,000 and 10,000 loaves a day!”

“He describes the vintage East Side store as “an oasis.” When you walk in, “it seems like you’re going to a country store in Vermont.” But even though the 1,200-square-foot West Side location on the corner of 81st and Amsterdam is a bit more modern, the customer base is quite similar. A lot of people used to travel across town and now have a store closer.”

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