Dirk Bruley and his wife, Wendy, opened their first Chedd’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese restaurant in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood in the spring of 2003. Now, with two locations and four years of experience, the Wisconsin-themed grilled- cheese joint, with its 35 cheeses, 12 breads and various meats and vegetables, is looking to go national.
Bruley, a Wisconsin native, and business partner Jamie Jalazo are finalizing the approval that would allow Chedd’s to franchise in all 50 states.
By franchising, the group hopes to join a long list of homegrown success stories. The International Franchise Association, which assists and advocates for franchisers and franchisees, has 50 Colorado- based members spanning various sectors.
The most successful among them are major players in their industries: Quiznos Sub in Denver has 4,000 sandwich shops around the world; real estate company Re/Max, also from Denver, has more than 6,000 offices in 63 countries; and Centennial-based tire retailer Big O Tires has 540 locations in 21 states and Canada.
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