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Published December 06, 2013, 05:46 PM

Customers line up for Tim Hortons opening in Grand Forks

Customers were lined up to the entrance of Grand Forks’ Tim Hortons store on its first day of business Friday afternoon. The crowd for the Canadian doughnut-and-coffee shop had been that way since about 6 a.m., said Jamie Revenelle, a manager.

By: Christopher Bjorke & John Hageman, Grand Forks Herald

Customers were lined up to the entrance of Grand Forks’ Tim Hortons store on its first day of business Friday afternoon. The crowd for the Canadian doughnut-and-coffee shop had been that way since about 6 a.m., said Jamie Revenelle, a manager.

“We’ve really been aggressively embraced,” he said. “We’ve had a really warm response from the University of North Dakota.”

The chain is a major Canadian brand with thousands of stores nationwide. It also has a fast-growing U.S. presence, said Revenelle, a district manager from New England who is working with the new store, the first in North Dakota, located across from the Alerus Center on South 42nd Street.

While he stresses Tim Hortons’ strong American ties, he said a lot of local customers would be familiar with it from trips to Manitoba.

“They say, ‘When I go Winnipeg, I go there all the time,’” Ravenelle said.

While the owners of the Grand Forks location have said they are considering other locations, Ravenelle said the company is concentrating on the new store — for now.

“We didn’t come to North Dakota to do one restaurant,” he said.

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