Tom Jetland is no stranger to the restaurant business.
From the successful, recently sold Ibiza Café in Scottsdale to the Mediterranean-themed Fez in central Phoenix and now the South American-influenced Ticoz on 7th St. just north of Camelback, Jetland has made opening new businesses his business.
“For years people from Phoenix would come to Ibiza [Café] and always tell me I should open something in Phoenix,” Jetland said. “We made a game plan and when the right location opened up, we took it.”
Jetland garnered a majority of his restaurant experience after a long stint as a Sony Music Marketing executive. He signed up at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute after his position was eliminated at Sony and helped open up Nordstrom Café while still in school. Chef Eddie Matney entrusted his place at the Botanical Gardens to Jetland soon after.
Jetland wanted Fez and Ticoz to be cool, chic places that anyone and everyone would feel comfortable in, regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status.
“Pretentiousness just isn’t me,” Jetland said. “I wanted a clubbish feel with great food, a fun vibe, excellent service and an atmosphere that caters to everybody.”
Fez proved to be just that. Jetland and company spent months creating a buzz about the place and held three different launch parties to introduce Fez to the neighborhood. Having accomplished that, he turned his attention toward opening another concept restaurant, this time completely on his own.
The property that is now Ticoz actually happened completely by chance. While Jetland did have plans to open a new restaurant, he certainly wasn’t actively pursuing it. The former building occupants’ intent to vacate happened to cross his desk one day and he wasn’t about to pass up the chance.
A scant seven weeks later, Ticoz opened to limited fanfare and extraordinary reviews.
“We wanted much more of a South American menu at first,” Jetland said. “But we realized the American palate might not be ready for it.”
Creating the menu at Ticoz certainly wasn’t a simple affair. As much as $30,000 went into experimenting, taste tasting and fine tuning the menu, a cost Jetland knows was well spent.
Jetland’s plans don’t stop with Fez and Ticoz. Future plans include a boutique type eatery-think La Grande Orange without the market-and an urban breakfast- and lunch-type café in downtown Phoenix. He’s even had a few hotel properties express interest in opening his type of shop, but nothing is set in stone.
He has only one requirement of a restaurant: it has to be in the Phoenix central corridor.
He has even expressed a desire to blend Northeast and Southwest-type cuisine into a completely new type of concept menu and is chomping at the bit to put his new ideas to work.