George founded the Jackson Coney Island restaurant in 1914. He created his famous recipe for Coney Island Chili Sauce, and the Coney Island hot dog was born. He also created his recipe for Chili Con Carne. George's Jackson Coney Island offered a menu of Coney Island hot dogs, Chili Con Carne, baked beans, pies, soft drinks, beer, and wine.
His Jackson Coney Island restaurant was located in front of the Jackson Train Station on East Michigan Avenue and was open 24 hours everyday. Many of the train engineers and conductors, and passengers, would walk into the restaurant through the back door for a lunch of Coneys, a plate of baked beans or a bowl of Chili Con Carne, and a beer. During the next 31 years, he sold 17,000,000 Coney Islands. George retired in 1945.
(Today, Todoroff Foods Incorporated produces, markets, and sells George Todoroff's delicious creations under the names Todoroff's® Original Chili and Todoroff's® Original Chili Con Carne With Beans.)
Tom Todoroff (George's son)
Tom carried on the Coney Island tradition in Jackson with four restaurants, and one in Ann Arbor.
Tom purchased his first restaurant, the Star Grill on East Michigan Avenue in Jackson, in 1936. He remodeled the restaurant and then renamed it to the Family Lunch. He offered a full service menu in contrast to the limited menu that his father offered at the Jackson Coney Island. However, the Coney Island hot dog remained his signature food, and would remain so in all of his future restaurants. Tom sold the Family Lunch restaurant in 1943 after receiving his 60 day draft notice for World War II.
On the day that Tom reported for the draft, the government informed him that they had filled their draft quota. With a wife and three children at home, Tom took a job in a manufacturing plant while he searched for a restaurant to purchase. He found Mac's Café on Courtland Street in Jackson. He leased Mac's Café and opened it for business in 1946. Mac's Café was small and offered limited potential, but it allowed Tom to return to the restaurant business that he loved, while he searched for a more suitable restaurant.
Tom discovered the State Grill restaurant on Main Street in Ann Arbor. The State Grill was considerably larger than Mac's Café. Being located in a college town (the University of Michigan), it was also much busier. Tom purchased the State Grill in 1947, sold a lot of Coney Island hot dogs, and did quite well. However, he was living in Ann Arbor near his business while his family was living in Jackson. Two years later, he sold the State Grill and returned to Jackson and was reunited with his his family.
Tom bought the Loomis Park Grill on East Michigan Avenue in Jackson and opened for business in 1949. His son, Richard, became his partner in 1958. In 1960, they built a new Loomis Park Grill restaurant at the same location. They promoted the Coney Island hot dog and continued the family reputation for making the best Coneys anywhere. Tom sold his partnership and retired in 1964.
Tom visited his son, Richard, at the new Todoroff's Original Coney Island from time to time. He realized that he still had some restaurant years left in him, so he purchased a small restaurant close to his home. He opened Tommy's Coney Island on South Jackson Road in Jackson in 1967. Tom finally retired in 1971 after 37 years of restaurant ownership.
Richard Todoroff (Tom's son)
Richard carried on the Coney Island tradition in Jackson with three restaurants. Upon resigning from the United States Air Force in 1957, Richard accepted a partnership with his father at the Loomis Park Grill in 1958. In 1964 Richard changed the name of their restaurant to Todoroff's Restaurant.
Two years after Tom retired, Richard pursued his dream of creating a restaurant based on the Coney Island hot dog concept using a limited menu. He opened Todoroff's Original Coney Island restaurant on Spring Arbor Road in Jackson in 1967.
Richard transferred the restaurant operation to a different location, and re–opened Todoroff's Original Coney Island on East Ganson Street in Jackson in 1971. During the following years, Richard aggressively marketed and promoted the Coney Island hot dog. During the mid and late 1970s, he implemented shrewd pricing on his Coney Island hot dogs. His restaurant's sales of Coneys climbed dramatically and his restaurant earned a reputation as serving the finest Coney Islands in Michigan. Richard retired on August 31, 2002 after 44 years of restaurant ownership.
Kurt Todoroff (Richard's son)
Today, Kurt continues the tradition with our Todoroff's Original Coney Island franchise restaurants.
Kurt started development of the franchise concept in late 1996. By the end of 1997, he had completed all of the franchise development. In 1998 he started defining the operational requirements, configuration, and design of the first restaurant. Kurt's brother, Keith (an architect), expressed an interest in designing the first Todoroff's Original Coney Island restaurant. After Keith reviewed the requirements and design package, the brothers signed the architectural contract on August 17, 1999. Construction for the prototype commenced on April 19, 2001.
Kurt owned and operated the prototype Todoroff's Original Coney Island franchise restaurant at 1200 West Parnall Road in Jackson, which opened on October 1, 2001.
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The All-American hot dog has been around for a long time. George Todoroff improved this American favorite when he created his famous recipe for Coney Island Chili Sauce in 1914. He added this one–of–a–kind jewel to the hot dog, along with mustard and onions, and the Coney Island hot dog as we know it, was born.
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Of all the companies that started business when we did in 1914, ours is one of the few still around to celebrate their anniversary in . That's an accomplishment we can be proud of.
Our company belongs in a very special and select group. Many companies have come and gone since we started business, but few have stayed in business as long as ours.
History and experience show that most companies fold before they're two years old. Not many reach the age of five. Only well managed companies survive today.
We are proud of the age that our company has reached. It makes good business sense to let our customers, suppliers, and friends know about it.
After all, people prefer doing business with a solidly established company that's been around as long as ours. As our years have accumulated, our reputation for reliability, quality, service, and integrity has grown with them. Nothing inspires customers' confidence more than trading with an old, experienced firm they know they can count on.
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