By JIMMY LAWTON
POTSDAM -- Popular Canadian donut shop Tim Hortons will open in Ogdensburg and Raymondville within the next six months and if everything goes as planned, Morristown and Potsdam locations will follow.
Mike Webster, Director of Operations for Parkway Food and Fuel Division, said construction at Ogdensburg's Parkway Plaza on Champlain Street will begin in the next two weeks and the restaurant is tentatively scheduled to open Dec. 17.
Webster said the plan is to install a drive-thru before the construction season ends.
In Raymondville Tim Hortons will be located in the Parkway Express on Route 56, and is scheduled to open in February or sooner, according to Webster.
Webster said dates for the Morristown and Potsdam stores are not confirmed and will depend on both the success of the Ogdensburg and Raymondville locations and the ability complete necessary construction.
"Our Potsdam location has been approved by Tim Hortons officials, but the timeline it will be completed has not been finalized," he said. "We will not open the second, third, etc. restaurants until we are comfortable that we are delivering on the brand promise that has made Tim Hortons so successful."
Webster said the goal is to have the Potsdam store open in the Elm Street Parkway Express by summer of 2013, with the Morristown location, on Route 37, opening earlier. However, Webster said that could change depending on how soon a drive-thru can be installed at the Potsdam Parkway Express.
"We have to be able to break ground for a drive-thru after the frost is out of the ground in the spring," he said, adding that Morristown will not have a drive-thru.
Webster said he and other Parkway partners are currently undergoing a seven-week training period in preparation for the restaurants opening.
He said he hopes the brand will find the same popularity in the North Country, that it has enjoyed in Western New York and Canada.
Potsdam Village Planning Director Frederick Hanss said the restaurant would be a nice a addition to Potsdam's dining options.
Tim Hortons serves a wide range of donuts, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, and coffee. The Tim Hortons company was founded in 1964 by Canadian hockey player Tim Horton in Hamilton, Ontario and now operates more than 4,000 locations in the US and Canada.
The Parkway stores, which will house the St. Lawrence County Tim Hortons stores are owned by Greg and Schiel Wood of G&S Estates.