Tom and Chee Net Worth 2023 | Unique Grilled Cheese Creations, Locations, Acquisition, Expansion Plans, and Founders' Entrepreneurial Journey

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Unveiling Tom and Chee’s net worth of $750,000 as of 2022, this culinary gem has carved a niche in the food industry. Founded in 2009 by Corey Ward and Drew Quackenbush in Cincinnati, Ohio, the name “Tom and Chee” cleverly hints at the core ingredients that inspire their innovative menu.

Tom and Chee Net Worth

Tom and Chee’s net worth is estimated to be around $750,000 as of 2023. The net worth includes the value of the business and its assets. The primary income streams contributing to this net worth are the sales from their 170 contract locations, 30 new planned locations, and the revenue generated from their menu offerings like grilled cheese sandwiches and other comfort foods.

About Tom and Chee

Tom and Chee, a beloved restaurant chain specializing in grilled cheese and tomato soup creations, was founded in 2009 by Corey Ward and Drew Quackenbush in Cincinnati, Ohio. The duo started their venture with a modest budget of $2,300 and a dream to provide a twist on classic comfort foods.

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tom and chee net worth

The Origin of the Name

The business name, “Tom and Chee,” is a clever abbreviation of “Tomato and Cheese,” the two fundamental ingredients that form the heart of their creative menu.

Innovative Creations

Tom and Chee’s menu offers a variety of handcrafted melts, salads, and homemade soups that take the concept of grilled cheese and tomato soup to new heights. Their innovative dishes, such as the iconic grilled cheese donut, garnered attention and admiration from both customers and media outlets.

Early Success and Recognition

Tom and Chee quickly gained recognition, making their way onto the hit TV show “Shark Tank” in May 2013. During their appearance, they attracted investor Barbara Corcoran’s attention and sealed a deal with her. This catapulted their popularity and prompted tremendous growth.

Headquarters and Locations

With its headquarters situated in Cincinnati, Ohio, Tom and Chee opened its doors in 2009 and began franchising in 2012. Their initial indoor store on Court Street showcased the concept’s potential. Notable locations, such as those in Indianapolis, Detroit, and Lexington, initially contributed to the brand’s expansion.

Unprecedented Challenges

However, the rapid expansion led to challenges as operational complexities increased. Despite an initial network of 35 units across several states, some locations started facing difficulties. The founders realized they lacked the infrastructure to sustain such growth and sought solutions.

Acquisition by GSR Brands

In 2017, GSR Brands, the parent company of Gold Star Chili, acquired Tom and Chee’s assets. This strategic move aimed to leverage GSR’s expertise and experience in the franchise business to reignite Tom and Chee’s potential.

Reinvention and Expansion Plans

GSR Brands embarked on a journey of rebranding and streamlining. The prototype was revamped, reducing store footprints and simplifying operations. High-speed ovens replaced steam shell grills, drastically cutting down cooking times and broadening the labor pool. A renewed focus on providing an exceptional customer experience led to a menu reduction and clearer offerings.

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Future Prospects

Despite the setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, GSR Brands CEO Roger David expressed renewed enthusiasm for Tom and Chee’s growth. New franchise agreements in places like Texas, Oklahoma City, and Pittsburgh highlight the brand’s resurgence.

In 2023, Tom and Chee continues to offer a delightful twist on classic comfort foods, celebrating the nostalgia of mom’s kitchen while providing a modern and innovative dining experience.



Business Information


Tom and Chee’s Net Worth $750,000 (as of 2023)
Business name Tom and Chee
Business Type Grilled cheese franchise
Business status:  In-business
Company Type Private
Industry Food and Beverage
Headquarters  Cincinnati, Ohio
Founded by Drew Quackenbush and Corey Ward
Founded In 2009
Based in Cincinnati, Ohio
Products Grilled cheese sandwiches
Top Competitors The Melt, Melt Bar & Grilled, Newk’s Franchise, Cafe Express, Fresh City, etc.


Business Contact Information


Phone Number 513-624-4401


Tom & Chee Founders and Their Entrepreneurial Journey

Tom and Chee’s founders, Drew Quackenbush and Corey Ward, started their entrepreneurial journey in 2009 when they set up a pop-up grilled cheese and tomato soup stand on Fountain Square in Cincinnati with a meager investment of $2,300. They faced initial challenges due to limited funds, but their unique food offerings, including the grilled cheese donut, gained popularity and garnered media attention.

Their big breakthrough came in May 2013, when they appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” Barbara Corcoran made a deal with them for less money than they asked for on the show, but it still provided them with valuable funding and exposure. After their appearance, they received over 9,000 franchise requests, which led to significant expansion.

Despite some financial setbacks and closures in subsequent years, they were acquired by GSR Brands (parent company of Gold Star Chili) in September 2017. GSR Brands recognized the growth potential of Tom and Chee and aimed to provide the necessary support and infrastructure for further expansion.

tom and chee net worth 1

Quick Information


Founders Name Drew Quackenbush and Corey Ward
Nicknames Unknown
Profession Founders of Tom and Chee grilled cheese franchise
Net Worth $750,000 (as of 2023)
Nationality Unknown
Age Unknown
Height Unknown
Weight Unknown
Parents Unknown
Marital Status Unknown
Number of Children Unknown



Personal Details


Email Address Not available
Phone Number Not available
Website Not available
Discord or Telegram Not available
Facebook Not available
YouTube Not available
Instagram Not available
Twitter Not available
Linkedin Not available
Snapchat Not available


Latest Update on Tom & Chee

As of 2023, Tom & Chee is still open for business, and they recently found a new home at the Gold Star Anderson location. This partnership has allowed them to offer an expanded menu with a variety of new food options, including the Bacon Mac & Chee Melt, Bacon, Fig & Goat Melt, West of Philly Melt, Pesto Turkey Melt, and more.


The newly renovated restaurant now provides a one-stop-shop experience, and customers can conveniently order all their favorite Tom & Chee items directly through the drive-thru. The Anderson location is the only Tom & Chee restaurant that has moved to this new joint venture with Gold Star.


With this collaboration, Tom & Chee continues to expand its offerings and cater to the diverse preferences of its customers. The restaurant is now open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays through Mondays, providing ample opportunities for customers to enjoy their delicious grilled cheese sandwiches, soups, salads, and unique donut offerings.


A dive into Tom and Chee’s flavorful world revealed a net worth of around $750,000.

From inception, their inventive grilled cheese and tomato soup creations sparked attention, leading to their memorable appearance on “Shark Tank.” Despite challenges and a change in ownership, Tom and Chee’s modern dining experience continues to delight, making their valuation a testament to their unique offerings.

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