My very special guest today is Anthony, Tomey. Anthony is a full-time entrepreneur, a former professional baseball player with the Detroit Tigers organization and now truly one of the largest franchise owners of Jimmy John’s, The Chicken Guy and also a Real Estate Developer. Additionally, he is the owner of 8 Mile Vodka – a Vodka that took home the awards for Best in Class: Vodka and Best of Class: Overall Vodka at the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. I sat down with Anthony to talk about how he transitioned from pitching on the baseball diamond to pitching in the boardroom and hitting home runs every time!
Anthony’s goal from a young age was to earn a full ride scholarship to thank his father who had paid for a private Catholic school education.
Anthony shares how he gets the inspiration to “win at all costs” from his dad. His dad came to the United States, Ellis Island, at 25 years old and with $20.00 in his pocket. Though he didn’t speak English, he managed to put himself through college and earned a master’s degree, all while working as a busboy at the London Chophouse in Detroit. Anthony’s goal from a young age was to earn a full ride scholarship to thank his father who had paid for a private Catholic school education.
Baseball taught him that no matter what happens, you’re going to fail.
As a baseball player, Anthony loved the pressure of the game. He was a closer, a last inning pitcher, and thrived in the bases loaded, no one out scenarios. It was the thrill of the competition that motivated him. He also talks about how humbling it was to go from being the #1 pitcher in college to the majors where everyone was on a level playing field with every guy being the #1 player where they came from. Baseball taught him that no matter what happens, you’re going to fail. You have to pick yourself up and get back out there.
A family stop at a sub shop changed their lives forever
In the spring of 2003, Anthony Tomey was playing baseball at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. His family came to see him play, and after the game they headed to a sub shop down the street. The place had a line of 20 people stretching outside of the door. At first the family took this as a bad sign, but a member of staff told them to stick around. In less than five minutes, their food was in their hands. This was a defining moment, as they all were amazed at the speed and efficiency with which this business operated. Just a few months later, five like-minded Tomey family members, Fawzi, Tony, Anthony, Christine, and Michael, opened a Jimmy John’s of their own in Novi, Michigan.
In 2003, the Tomey Group LLC was founded as a means to grow a brand the partners loved, and to bring the same expansion to brands throughout the country. As of May 2019, the Tomey Group has bought and opened more than 50 Jimmy John’s locations throughout the Detroit Metro area.
not your average franchise owner
Anthony is not your average franchise owner. Sitting back and delegating tasks from afar isn’t his style. Instead, he is hands-on involved in all aspects of the business, from preparing sandwiches to making deliveries. He is committed to providing employees with what they need and deserve, no matter what that looks like. He knows his employees’ names, how they work, and what makes them tick.
Vodka and apparel
Just over a year ago, Anthony and his brother had an opportunity to buy a vodka company. 8 Mile Vodka, and an apparel company, Born in Detroit became their next financial endeavor. They currently oversee operations and have had great success, partnering with the Detroit Pistons with both companies, while getting into every Meijer in Michigan with 8 Mile. Additionally, 8 Mile Vodka just recently took home the awards for Best in Class: Vodka and Best of Class: Overall Vodka at the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Anthony truly believes that the harder you work, the luckier you get.
Recently Tomey Group signed a deal to become the newest franchisees of Chicken Guy, a new concept by Guy Fieri. It competes directly with Chick Fil A, and the Tomey Group bought the rights to southeast Michigan. Anthony truly believes that the harder you work, the luckier you get. The opportunities that continue to present themselves to the Tomey group are a direct result of hard work and surrounding themselves with successful people. Success attracts success.
The Tomey group continues to grow their empire and have added Real Estate to their growing portfolio. With the recent purchase of a shopping plaza in White Lake MI 3 years ago, 4 apartment complexes throughout SE Detroit and a resort on Houghton Lake, there is no stopping this hard-working entrepreneur!
Follow Anthony on social media:
Anthony Tomey – @atomey53
8 Mile Vodka – @official8milevodka
Born In Detroit – @officialbornindetroit
Tomey Group – https://tomeygroup.com