In May of 2000, Tom Locke bought his first McDonald’s in Canal Fulton with an ambitious goal in mind to own 10 restaurants in 10 years. He knew that would take some strategic planning and it would be a gradual process but was determined to make his dream a reality. The first store, bought and managed under his company Tomtreyco Incorporated, grew quickly over the years and ran most of his local competitors in that area out of business. Building off the success of his first McDonald’s, Tom had the opportunity to purchase another restaurant two years later in Akron across the street from the former Rolling Acres Mall. That location has since moved to Vernon Odom Boulevard and is doing increasingly well.
The next opportunity to purchase additional McDonald’s restaurants came a year later. Tom was able to purchase the Canton South and Faircrest locations from McDonald’s Corporation. His first two restaurants were purchased from other McDonald’s owner-operators. Purchasing restaurants from the Corporation proved to be an easy process because of the reasonable price and great working relationship.
In 2006, Tom bought two more restaurants from the late Bob Bobbit – Easton and Hartville. A year later the Hartville location was one of the first in Northeast Ohio to be rebuilt with the modern “arcade-looking” McDonald’s you see today. In 2015, the Easton location was relocated and built with the same modern design. Each location has contemporary features and advanced technology including digital self-order kiosks, remodeled counters for new table service, bright and easy-to-read digital menu boards, designated parking spots for curbside pick-up through mobile order and pay, expanded McCafé counters, and larger display cases. And because of the public’s overwhelming response to the new look and features, the new restaurants saw a significant increase in revenue, especially at the Hartville store where sales almost doubled.
From there, he bought two more restaurants in 2010, one in 2012, one in 2013, one in 2014, two in 2015 and 13 more McDonald’s in 2018. Tom found that a lot of owner-operators were looking to sell in 2018 because McDonald’s corporation was encouraging its existing owners to complete expensive major remodel projects. Tom took that opportunity to continue growing.
In 2019 the opportunity presented itself to expand in the Pittsburgh market, and with the corporation now allowing owners to expand to different markets in nearby districts, Tom quickly jumped on the offer. Today TomTreyCo Inc. is one of the largest franchisees in the nation and hopes to continue to grow and expanded in the future.
The Next Generation
Trey Locke began working in his father’s restaurant in 2000 making drinks for the drive-thru presenters. Trey enjoyed the time spent in the restaurant but decided to go in a different career direction. Trey graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work. Trey worked in nonprofit work for five (5) years. Most recently he worked in Cincinnati as a counselor at an inpatient drug rehab facility. While he loved helping his clients and seeing them grow, he began to get burned out with the work.
Trey decided to come back to the company, TOMTREYCO, in 2018. Trey started as a Crew Member working in one of his father’s stores in North Canton, Ohio. From here, Trey was able to work his way up the ladder, hold every position there is, and received all the training needed for him to be successful, including going through the Next Generation Owner Operator Program, completing it in 2020.
Trey was able to purchase his first store from his father in November of 2020. As of today, Trey Locke is the Owner-Operator of five (5) McDonald’s within the company.
In 2021 and 2022, stepsons, Sebastian Gil, and Santiago Gil decided to also join the family business.
Sebastian and Santiago also decided to pursue other careers before landing at McDonald’s.
Sebastian attended Ohio University after high school and then traveled out of state to pursue his interests in the arts. After that, he studied abroad in Colombia to continue his schooling in an art academy for filmmaking and photography. Sebastian used these skills when he joined the company by creating new training videos for new employees and creating digital content to help promote the McDonald’s brand. Sebastian decided to join the Next Generation Owner Operator Program in 2021 because he sees all the good McDonald’s can provide for the community and aligns with TomTreyCo’s values.
Santiago graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems (MIS).
After graduating from Ohio University, Santiago went on to work at McDonald’s Global Headquarters (MHQ) in the Global Technology department under several teams as part of a rotational program. After several years at MHQ, he decided he could do better for his community and could help the family out more by returning home and becoming an Owner Operator, a dream of his from a young age.
Sebastian and Santiago, just like Trey, have started their journey as crew members at one of our McDonald’s locations. From here they will also go through all training and development to one day become an Owner Operator like Tom and Trey.