Partners Break Ground on New Timmies for Port Carling
PORT CARLING – John Mehlenbacher and Scott Moffat silently clicked the cardboard cups together, as cars passed by slowly, drivers looking to see what was happening.
The two partners of the Rosseau Group – an investment management firm specializing in the real estate industry – stood on the site Tuesday afternoon to officially unveil the location of a new Tim Hortons restaurant, to be built on the corner of Highway 118 and Bruce Wilson Drive in Port Carling.
The restaurant will be situated next to Foodland on a one-acre property that is known to be one of the highest traffic areas in the town.
“I own the land, and (Tim Hortons officials) they sourced us to ask me if they could buy the land because they felt it was time for them to come into Port Carling. So that’s how it started,” Mehlenbacher said.
However, in 2014, Tim Hortons was merged with hamburger chain Burger King to form Restaurant Brands International. Mehlenbacher said when that happened, the company’s internal strategies, “changed” and the two sides were “sort (of) at loggerheads for about a year,” over the Port Carling franchise.
“It ended up we bought the franchise off them about a month ago, so we are the franchise and the land owners,” he said.
Muskoka Lakes Township approved the project July 2013 and Mehlenbacher said he expected the project to be completed and opened by this coming Labour Day weekend.
“In Port Carling, this has been the talk of the town for sometime. A lot of people support (the project), some people are opposed to it but it has been generally warmly received,” he said.
The Port Carling franchise will be a mid-sized Tim Hortons, with a hint of a Muskoka flavour tossed into the program.
“We want it to feel as rustic and cottagey as possible. We are going to have a wood-burning fireplace, for example, for the winter … it will be 2,400 square feet with a large outdoor patio. So a smaller interior with a larger exterior, which we feel is the right mix for the area,” Mehlenbacher said.
Cousins Moffat and Mehlenbacher started the Rosseau Group in the spring of 2013. They grew up together with family gatherings on Lake Rosseau, where they both still cottage. They started the company with their long-time friend and partner, Simon Mass.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: muskokaregion.com