Calgary Tim Hortons poppy doughnut proceeds now going to Canada veterans
Poppy-decorated doughnut has some concerned the idea is disrespectful.
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An enterprising Remembrance Day idea from a local Tim Hortons employee had some concerned that proceeds weren't initially going back to local veterans groups.
After the story appeared online, the vets are going to get their due.
Over the weekend, an employee at the Tim Horton’s location at the Road King Truck Stop on Barlow Trail SE, had pitched the idea of a doughnut decorated as a poppy - a gesture deemed fitting in the lead up to Remembrance Day, honouring those Canadian Forces members who have fought and died in world conflicts.
“We didn’t do it with the intention of making a profit on it,” said Tim Hortons location manager Reynan Amon.
“One of my team members just suggested, ‘Why don’t we get a poppy doughnut to remember the veterans,’ and I thought it was a good idea.”
One person, who brought the concern to Metro after it was circulated by Calgary social media maven Crackmacs, felt as though the display and sale of the doughnuts was out of line. The complainant wanted to remain anonymous because of a connection to the franchise.
“Personally, I felt it was disrespectful… considering all of the hard work and the pain and the suffering that went into giving us the freedom we have,” the complainant said.
This person admitted the idea, with better planning and cooperation with local veterans groups, could have worked and been seen as a good local endeavour.
Amon did say that the location prominently displays the poppy donation box at the location’s front counter, and should the display of the poppy doughnuts cause a public stir that he would have them removed. He said neither customers nor Tim Hortons corporate office has asked they be removed.
John Rathwell CD, general manager for the Calgary Poppy Fund and Veterans Food Bank, said good gesture aside, the poppy is a trademark protected symbol for the Dominion Command of the Royal Canadian Legion and permission is required for its use.
“I’d be the first person to shake that (employee’s) hand to say thank you for thinking of this during this time of remembrance,” said Rathwell.
“At the same time…it’s a sacred symbol in this part of remembrance that only runs for a week and a half a year.”
In this case, Rathwell said public perception is often where the fine line is drawn on these marketing opportunities - whether or not people see that something is being done with the proceeds to help local veterans.
Rathwell did say that Tim Hortons has long been a proud supporter of veterans and the Royal Canadian Legion.
Tim Hortons responded late Wednesday, saying the restaurant owner, who independently operates the franchise location, will be matching and donating 100 per cent of the poppy doughnut proceeds to the Royal Canadian Legion.
"As a proud Canadian brand, we have the utmost respect and honour for our veterans," an email from the Tim Hortons media relations team read.