when Charlie Hensley drove by a new restaurant called McAlister’s Deli. Since Charlie was considering creating his own restaurant concept, he decided to stop and check out this new restaurant. It happened to be the grand opening and what he experienced was a very comfortable restaurant with a broad menu that would appeal to just about everyone.
Charlie ordered a sweet tea, soup and sandwich. The sweet tea was the best he had ever tasted. The sandwich, a Turkey Melt, remains his favorite among many great sandwiches. The food arrived at the table hot, within five minutes from the time he placed his order. He noticed that although he placed his order at the front counter, once he selected his table and sat down, the service he received was similar to a fine dining restaurant. A server delivered his food to the table, checked back to see if he needed a refill on his drink, brought him additional napkins and crackers, and bussed his table when he was done. Very impressive. When Charlie thought about leaving a tip for all the service he received, he remembered the Cashier telling him that the service was “free” and if he chose to leave a tip, it would go to a local charity. Charlie enjoyed his experience so much that he thought, “Why reinvent the wheel?
After his initial experience with the McAlister’s Deli concept, Charlie called McAlister’s Corporation in Ridgeland, Mississippi to inquire about available franchise territory. The selection in Central Indiana was an easy decision. Not only was Indianapolis a great restaurant area, he knew that it was also a great place to raise a family. He also felt confident that Indiana would enthusiastically buy “sweet tea” which is the marquee item at McAlister’s Deli.
Once Charlie researched the brand and compiled financial projections, he approached his former employer and mentor, Mike Mountjoy, Managing Director of Mountjoy & Bressler, to review his projections, provide advice and arrange meetings with potential investors. After reviewing the projections, researching the brand, and most importantly, talking to his daughter who was a frequent diner at the McAlister’s Deli of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Mike decided to assemble his own group to invest in this venture. Capital investors include, along with Charlie Hensley and Mike Mountjoy, Barrett Nichols, former CEO of PNC Bank in Louisville, Kentucky, Vince Tyra, former CEO of Broder Brothers in Detroit, Michigan, and Jerry Bressler and Alan Rosenberg, both are Directors with Mountjoy & Bressler, a regional CPA firm headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky.
The next question was, “What will we name this company?” Mike Mountjoy suggested, “McIndy Ventures, LLC”. McIndy is short for “McAlister’s Deli of Indiana.”