(Interior of yarn-bombed restaurant. Credit: Tim Hortons/YouTube)
In what is surely the coziest marketing stunt ever, the Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons knitted over an entire restaurant in one of the country’s coldest towns.
The company first hired knitters to “yarn bomb” trees, mail boxes, and even park benches around the town of Fort Frances, Ontario, where temperatures average 27 degrees below freezing in December.
Then they unveiled the local Tim Hortons restaurant earlier this month wearing a giant toque (that’s Canadian for a knitted hat) and scarf. Inside, every table, booth, and chair was completely knitted over, top to bottom, in red and white yarn.
“I’m thrilled we were able to surprise them in this special way just in time for the holidays,” Gord McQuarrie, owner of the Fort Frances Tim Hortons, said in a statement.
(The exterior just got a hat and scarf. Credit: Tim Hortons/YouTube)
It will make you feel toastier just to watch the video, but another part of the company’s #WarmWishes campaign may warm the hearts of knitters even more.
The company also yarnbombed a Tim Hortons coffee truck, for good measure, and that project used only 100% wool, instead of the much-cheaper acrylic fiber typically used for yarnbombing.
(The yarn-bombed coffee truck. That’s 100% wool, thank you very much. Credit: Tim Hortons)
Sylvie Gagne, the owner of Lettuce Knit, in Toronto, convinced them that covering the entire truck from top to bottom with wool was worth the extra cost.
“I didn’t want to knit these huge panels that would end up in a landfill for the next 300 years,” she tells Yahoo DIY.
The project took about 35 knitters two weeks to complete. And skipping acrylic wool more than doubled the roughly $20,000 price tag for the project.
(Credit: Tim Hortons)
Gagne, who stresses the social and environmental aspect of knitting as well as the dollars and cents, is proud of the results.
“It turned out much better than even I expected,” she says. “A lot of things have been yarnbombed. But there’s never to my knowledge been a project like this [which used real wool that was repurposed after the stunt].”
(Sylvie Gagne and her knitting crew. Credit: Tim Hortons)
In this case, Gagne and Tim Hortons used it to help Covenant House, an agency that helps homeless youth. She and her compatriots contributed their time and money to do the felting and then turned their creations over to Tim Hortons to distribute.
“We washed it, felted, cut it up, and donated the blankets.”
The restaurant chain’s #WarmWishes campaign is a broader effort to boost the brand by encouraging good deeds during the holiday season. They are donating a cozy toque (that’s hat, again) to kids in need when fans tweet or Instagram their good deeds and use their hash tag.
Gagne is making sure her contribution is having the maximum impact possible. They used the smaller pieces from her truck to make blankets for the local pet shelter. And she has plans for the little bit of yarn still left over.
“We’re going to do a charity knit,” she says.