Oct 27, 2016 14h30
By Bryan Scott
Future SpudToddos employees
This is the story of a “saucy” hardworking boy from Salt Lake. Four years ago, Todd Loertscher experienced a devastating job loss. He sat his family down two weeks before Christmas to give them the bad news. They had prayed for months that things would get better for their dad. His wife began to say, “You know when God tells you no…” Their oldest son cut her off and finished the sentence, “...it’s because He has something better for you!”
With the help of his wife, Todd came up with a restaurant concept involving potatoes. They took the only thing they had left to bargain with, their home’s equity, and presented their business plan to the bank. Rejection was the response.
The family doesn’t have grand aspirations for wealth or fame. The motivation was rather simple: Todd wanted to work in the industry he loves and be able to provide for his family. His wife had dedicated a country song by Montgomery Gentry to him: “If you’re doing what your able, putting food there on the table, providing for the family that you love. That’s something to be proud of!” Todd wanted to be proud of his work. He was tired of companies outsourcing their food production and declining quality and service. That was not acceptable in his business plan and made giving up out of the question.
Two sauces became frontrunners for the SpudToddos concept — the sauce Todd makes every Christmas and the sauce he makes on Thanksgiving. Everyone looks forward to Todd’s cranberry citrus sauce and the Favorite Sauce is a recipe that has been in his family for years. The concept was coming together and the menu was under construction. This time they would take their plan to a number of banks. Rejection after rejection came in. Finally, a call from Andrew Sproul at Zions Bank, and they were approved.
With the loan, they began to hunt for a location. Again, they encountered rejection after rejection. Eventually, they found a place in Jordan Landing. The lease was such that no concessions would be made for a remodel. Todd would have to do all the construction himself and his wife would need to be the designer and decorator. For six weeks they felt like they were starting a remodeling business rather than opening a restaurant.
SpudToddos has been open since June and the reviews are phenomenal. They have a 4.9 rating on Facebook and are being recognized for what Todd — the ‘Todd’ in SpudToddos — is all about — delicious food made in house for a reasonable price. The gluten-free community is delighted as well because SpudToddos offers gluten-free options for almost every menu item.
Todd and his family are hopeful that their family-owned and operated restaurant will be welcomed and will be serving spuds in West Jordan for years to come.