Tom + Chee chain expands after 'Shark Tank' debut

CINCINNATI - Two months ago, the owners at local eatery Tom + Chee took a swim on ABC's "Shark Tank" and they've been riding the wave ever since.

"Yeah, we did just get Dublin, Ireland. They asked us to put one in Ireland just recently," said owner Trew Quackenbush.

Quackenbush and his business partner Corey Ward appeared on the show in May and even though they later rejected the deal proposed on the show, they've been red hot ever since.

They have received more than 7,000 franchise requests since the show aired.

"We're just meeting so many people at this point. It's like a tidal wave of people coming in," said Ward.

The massive interest has shifted their focus from the day to day to hearing proposals and sitting down with interested parties twice a week.

But money alone can't buy you love nor the rights to own a Tom + Chee store.

"We obviously walked away from a really big amount of money to us, you know what I mean. And if we're able to give that up, we're able to give you up too, trust me!" said Quackenbush.

"You've gotta actually be a part of the brand and know what we're doing and what it's about."

With no business plan, the two men set up a tent in Fountain Square in 2009 — a location they'd been warned had failed many before them.

Now, they're hiring managers and moving into a new office to handle what they expect will be at least 60 new stores opening in 2014.

For more information on Tom + Chee visit http://tomandchee.com/ .

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