16 years ago Sands Swift and Jerry Cicchinni opened a small restaurant in Aurora that was the result of 19 years of working in some of the most notable bistros and restaurants in Toronto. The Chicken Deli and The Bistro on Avenue Road were the training grounds that honed their skills and gave them the foundation for their first location “Tom & Jerry’s” Aurora.
All of their savings were put into the operation in the hopes of providing good food, good service and good value to their patrons. Years of long hours and determination with an unending focus on their original philosophy made Tom & Jerry’s a household name in Aurora. Families, teams and business man made frequent visits to enjoy there famous wings, ribs, and daily specials.
Along with there original philosophy of providing value, they added “Kids eat free Wednesdays, rib Thursdays, and many seasonal promotions that have made Tom & Jerry’s a local phenomenon.
Following the success of the Aurora location, Sands and his wife Sandy put Newmarket on the map with the same attention to detail that had made the original store a resounding success. Newmarket was no different and has built and maintained a strong presence in the community.
In late 2009 Sands wanted to expand the Tom & Jerry’s name and began to discuss franchise opportunities with interested business people in the area. His fundamental philosophy of quality, service and value were first and foremost – he was not out to sell franchises for the sake of numerous stores throughout the region but to find operators that would follow his formula which made the two restaurants so successful.
In February 2010, former NHL hockey player, Dave Gardner and local realtor Mike Dinner purchased the Aurora location and the expansion began. Not only were Dave and Mike owners, they were some of his original customers that watched the business evolve over the previous 16 years.
When Dave and Mike were asked about the acquisition there was no hesitation in the response.
“We were not in the franchise buying market but when the opportunity arose we were well aware of the success of the restaurant. Being a customer and watching how Sands maintained his philosophy made the decision easy”.
“We have a great customer base, a loyal following that is expanding, and we strive to maintain the business ethic. Our customers are very important to us and our staff. Our chefs are excellent, our staff attentive and friendly and our regular menu and daily specials provide variety and exceptional quality and value”.
The Tom & Jerry’s family now has a new location in Richmond Hill on Yonge St. just south of Elgin Mills on the east side. More locations are in the planning stages and will provide the same variety, quality, value and service that have made all locations a customer favourite.