40 years of doughnuts and double-doubles for employee at N.L.'s first Tim Hortons

Four decades ago, Pansy Quinn started working at the province's first Tim Hortons. She never left.

First and only job for 'people person' Pansy Quinn

Pansy Quinn has been a fixture at the Kenmount Road Tim Hortons for 40 years as of March 21. (Fred Hutton/CBC)

Just over 40 years ago, Newfoundland and Labrador's first Tim Hortons franchise opened on Kenmount Road in St. John's.

Not long after, Pansy Quinn started serving coffee there — and she's been there ever since.

In fact, she's outlasted the original Kenmount Road location, which was near Hickman's but moved several years ago.

In Quinn's honour, the franchise is having a week-long celebration of her 40 years of service — in the first and only job she's ever had — with the official anniversary coming March 21.

Pansy Quinn has outlasted the original Tim Hortons location, and doesn't plan to retire any time soon 1:27

Quinn told CBC she's not quite sure how she ended up working at the same place for four decades.

"I don't know. It just happened," she said, adding that she enjoys meeting all the customers who have come through the doors.

"I'm a people person, right, so I guess that's what it's all about," she said. "When you've got good employers … it makes you stay a bit longer."

Franchise owner Eric Schibler said it's rare to have someone like Quinn serving with a smile for 40 years but he doesn't have problems with turnover that sometimes challenge restaurants. In fact, a few other employees at the coffee shop are closing in on the 40-year mark.

$4,000 cheque and trip to Ontario

"When you've got good people like Pansy, you tend to attract good people as well, and your retention is a lot better when you have good people," he said. "Pansy's a great ambassador for the brand."

Quinn has no plans to retire from her first — and only — job. (Fred Hutton/CBC)

To mark the occasion, the franchise is giving Quinn a cheque for $4,000 and a trip to Ontario to visit Tim Hortons' corporate headquarters in Oakville, where she'll have lunch with the company president. 

The Kenmount Road coffee shop has a display honouring Quinn with pictures spanning her time there, and on Wednesday, a section of the shop will be set aside for her to sit down and greet visitors.

After 40 years, does Quinn have retirement plans?

"I'm not going to retire. Not yet, anyway," she said, laughing.

With files from Fred Hutton