The Toasted Yolk Cafe in Conroe sprouted from a simple idea: to build a better breakfast.
“We decided to do something different where we are a breakfast restaurant with a deep lunch menu as well,” co-owner Chris Milton said. “Not everybody wants to eat breakfast at a restaurant Monday through Friday.”
Milton and co-owner Mathew DeMott combined their restaurant experiences and opened the restaurant in Conroe in 2010. The business partners opened a second location in Houston in 2014.
The Toasted Yolk Cafe offers breakfast, lunch and brunch options, such as the Cowboy Scramble, the West Coast Arnold and its namesake, The Toasted Yolk, to a growing number of customers. The restaurant also offers beer and wine selections.
Milton and DeMott had discussed their dreams of opening a restaurant of their own for years. The pair decided to take the plunge one February evening in 2010 during men’s night at the Fellowship of The Woodlands Church.
“You only have one life to live and why would you look back and have regrets?” Milton said he recalled hearing that evening.
At the time, DeMott had two young children and Milton’s wife, Kelly, was pregnant with their second child.
“Our wives both thought we had lost our minds,” Milton said. “Fortunately, they were very supportive.”
Starting a restaurant business meant long hours in the beginning. However, Milton said the restaurant closes at
3 p.m., and most days he is home when his kids get off the school bus.
Milton and DeMott have learned from their mistakes along the way.
“Over time we’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t,” Milton said. “We tried opening for dinner twice and failed miserably. At one point we were open until 9 p.m. [at the Conroe location], and we just realized it didn’t work for us.”
Milton said building a community of loyal customers has been critical to the restaurant’s success.
“Although it was a big leap of faith, we wouldn’t be here without the community,” he said. “We have a following. Many people who visit our locations are here three and four times a week. All the growth we have is through word-of-mouth.”
The partners began offering franchise opportunities in March. As the franchise business picks up, Milton said he and DeMott will still be visible at the Houston and Conroe locations but will focus more on building the Toasted Yolk franchise.
“We got into business to open up as many locations as we could,” Milton said. “We felt we could be a national breakfast and lunch chain. The intent was always to open more than one location.”
2129 W. Davis St., Conroe
Mon.-Sun. 7 a.m.-3 p.m.