Food Service & Agriculture, Real Estate, and Retail

Grilled cheese franchise maps location

September 30, 2014
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Grilled cheese franchise maps location
A rendering of the building at Bucktown in Grandville where the grilled cheese chain Tom+Chee will operate. Courtesy CWD Real Estate Investment

A grilled cheese sandwich franchise didn’t “cut corners” in selecting the site for one of the restaurants it’s planning in the region.


Tom+Chee, which was featured on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” will open a location in Grandville next spring in the Bucktown shopping center, at the corner of 44th Street SW and Ivanrest Avenue SW, CWD Real Estate Investment said today.

The restaurant will occupy about 2,200 square feet inside a 9,000-square-foot building, which is being constructed in front of Cabela’s.

The building was designed by Integrated Architecture in Grand Rapids and is being built by Triangle Associates in Grand Rapids.

“At Tom+Chee, we don’t cut corners when it comes to site selection,” said Rachel Caliendo, owner of the Tom+Chee franchise. “We are committed to spending a significant amount of time identifying ‘home run’ locations. The Grandville location checked all the boxes.”

Scott Wierda, managing partner of CWD in Grand Rapids, said that the firm is leasing space at Bucktown "as fast as we construct new buildings.”

“Tom+Chee is a really exciting brand to add to the project,” Wierda said. “We think it will be wildly popular in this area.”

Michigan plans

Caliendo has signed on to be the chain’s Grand Rapids franchisee, with plans to open up three locations in the area, said Corey Ward, co-founder, Tom+Chee, this January.

Michigan’s first Tom+Chee opened in the Lansing area early this year.

The chain

Tom+Chee sells more than 25 “eclectic” grilled cheese sandwiches, three versions of tomato soup daily and a variety of specials.

Tom+Chee started in 2009 as a grilled cheese tent in Cincinnati and now serves 16 locations, with its founders projecting to open about one restaurant per week until the end of 2014.

The chain’s grilled cheese donut was named one of America’s best new sandwiches on NBC’s “Today” show.

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