Hey how are you doing. Do you remember Tom and Chee from Shark Tank? They did a deal with the Shark Barbara Cochran. Since then they have had a mix bag of success. But my family simply loves it!
In fact the Tom and Chee located in my area Grandville, Mi closed down a few months ago. 🙁
Tom and Chee specializes in tasty and delicious ways of making a meal around the world famous grilled cheese sandwich. When I was a kid I was a grilled cheese specialist. I started making my own around 9 . 😉
I did not get too imaginative with mine. I would just add cheese or maybe some ham to spruce it up. Butter both sides of the bread and we were toasty!
But Tom and Chee has made a Science out of the Grilled Cheese sandwich. Truly making a whole classy and satisfying meal around such a simple creation.
Things I love at Tom and Chee:
- Diverse Sandwich Types
- Grilled Cheese Doughnuts
If you get a chance to go to one of the few locations that they have across the nation I recommend it big time! If you have a Tom and Chee in your local area I say cherish it!
Ways to Order Tom and Chee
There were different ways I used to consume and order Tom and Chee. Just as much as I ate in or stopped in to get a meal with my son. We ordered in using Uber Eats.
Now it looks like you can also order Tom and Chee by using Grubhub. Of course this is all subject to change. As they say check your local listings.
When we went into the stores to order the people were always nice and hard working. You could see them in the back working hard to get your food ready.
The smells were always so nice. There were always a cool theme inside the stores that kids would love. But also kids of all ages. It was so cool coming into a Restaurant that I saw featured on my favorite show Shark Tank. If I recall correctly they even had a picture of the Shark who they got their deal with Barbara.
Too cool. They also had a patio area where you could go outside and eat. Very nice!
Gourmet Food, Gourmet Cost
When it comes down to it you’re going to get Gourmet food cooked by a Chef when you go into Tom and Chee. Ok maybe not quite gourmet. But you are in the neighborhood.
It is a spanking good sandwich. The portions are fine. But here is where we get into the a lot of things concerning Tom and Chee and why it is has not caught on as strong business wise as I think it deserves.
I think it might be a little too expensive for many people to frequent it too much. Unless your a high roller your not going more than once a week. If your going with your family I hope it is just you and your two other people.
The cost are going to go up fast. The average meal that includes a sandwich , potato chips, soup and a drink will usually cost you from $11 to $15 . The kid meal if I remember correctly is around $9 or $10.
It is worth it from my standpoint. But it is not practical for more than one time a month for me.
Tom and Chee Business Closures Solution
There is a map that you can look at and see all of the Tom and Chee locations across the nation. It both shows the locations that are open and the ones that have closed.
In my mind I have been wondering why did the Tom and Chee in my area close down for? Everyone does not watch Shark Tank. But it had a brand name.
It was located in a very nice and affluent area of town that could afford the food on a more regular basis than I could. I was a little upset that others did not support the store as much as I did.
But maybe just maybe my parents theory is right about higher income levels. They have money because they spend it wisely 🙂 . Maybe they thought that Tom and Chee was too expensive for the cost.
There are so many great food choices out there today. Just from local grocery stores and cafe’s. Tom and Chee has a lot of competition including Mcdonalds, Burger King, and Subway.
So it is probably looked at as a novelty Food shop. Oh there is that Gourmet Grilled Cheese shop. They were not able to break into the everyday fast food market. In which is probably where they belong.
They are not Olive Garden or Red Lobster. Where people go to sit down , fellowship, and have some nice fellowship and a great meal. Close to the price of what you will purchase a much less substantial meal from Tom and Chee.
I will say that the location of he store in Grandville was not quite idea. It was in a very busy and nice Shopping Center. But the problem is it was off by itself. So there was not a lot of foot traffic or not great access to the store from 44th street. Which is a main vein of the the County area that I live in that covers several nice size cities.
Grandville being one of the smallest. So there was a lot that had to go right with this Tom and Chee store. Great food and the Shark Tank brand was not enough to help it to overcome.
Southern Boy Business Tips
So I am what you might call a Southern Boy who moved to Michigan in 2016 from Virginia. So I have been here for long enough to get a feel for the people here.
Good people… Different kind of people willing to live in the Arctic of America. Ha ha ha! I am relocating back to the East Coast next year. But I digress.
If you look at a map of the Tom and Chee closures you see that there are 4 or 5 stores including my Grandville store that closed down last year. There is a closure in Wisconsin and one in Ohio.
There are successful stores in Ohio there home state, Kentucky, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Tennessee! We all make mistakes and sometimes you don ‘t know your wrong until you try.
But who ‘s decision was it to go so heavy in the North? I think I see what they were trying to do. We started in the North East let ‘s chain out to our sister state Michigan and Wisconsin. The Name I.D will spread and we will catch fire.
But Michigan did not catch on to it. Darn Michiganders. You destroyed my Grilled Cheese Dreams.
The brand has taken a hit because of these failures. So my tip to the owners of Tom and Chee.
Go South young men Go South! When I think of a gourmet Grilled Cheese sandwich I think of more of Southern audience. Lower your cost and have a Business style that fits the market. Expand the menu out a little.
You will build a niche out for yourself.
Then there will be more places for me to go and eat Tom and Chee!!!