Anthony and Jon meet in the 6th grade. Their friendship is initially based on the fact that they both love the Boston Celtics and hate the L.A. Lakers and school.
Anthony invites Jon over for his first – of what will be countless – burger dinner made by Anthony’s Uncle Faris. Uncle Faris threatens bodily harm on Jon if he doesn’t finish the burger or does anything to ever cross his godchild and nephew, Anthony.
Jon wins MVP of junior high basketball tournament even though Anthony breaks the all-time scoring record. Anthony files a complaint with their school’s athletic director and to this day, does not recognize Jon as MVP. Anthony, riddled with animosity towards the sport of basketball, decides to quit the sport forever. Jon and Anthony remain friends through these tough times.
Anthony and Jon’s first business – AMO Landscaping – fails miserably. The failure is largely attributed to misspellings (most importantly, the wrong phone number) on marketing materials distributed on car windshields.
Anthony and Jon start to talk about owning their own restaurant. Uncle Faris starts to talk about bringing legal action against Anthony’s junior high school for their disrespect of his godson’s amazing basketball ability.
Anthony plays football at Harvard and balloons to nearly 300 pounds. Hanging out with Anthony during these summers, Jon witnesses first-hand the disastrous effects that unhealthy eating can have on the human body. They continue to talk about opening their own restaurant.
After college, Anthony and Jon spend 3 years working as business consultants. Anthony lives with his parents and both save as much money as they can for the sole purpose of starting their own business.
June 17, 2002
Anthony meets Jon and his girlfriend, Melanie, at a bar. As usual, Anthony and Jon find a corner, order way too many beers, and engage in their customary discussion of opening a business. Melanie watches the discussion deteriorate into an embarrassing display of drunken dreaming and decides enough is enough. “All you guys do is talk and talk and talk. Why don’t you get off your butts and do something about this. All you’ve got to do is get started.” she says.
Anthony and Jon vow to meet the next day to begin planning their own business. For the next months, the two set deadlines to present new business ideas to each other.
August 20, 2002
With dozens of potential business ideas ranging from massage parlors to cigar vending machines, Anthony and Jon decide to go with what they had always dreamed of and open a restaurant. They both love to eat, especially Anthony. And they both love fast food but don’t like the way it makes them feel – sick and unhealthy. They realize there are few low-cost, good-tasting, healthier food options in the Boston area.
They have their concept.
August – October 2002
Anthony drafts the first of many business plans that the team will write. The more they learn about the restaurant business, the more daunting their dream appears. But, they agree that if they work together, they can get it done.
October 8, 2002
Anthony and Jon reach a new low as they find themselves picking through the dumpster of another restaurant in an attempt to learn more about ingredients and suppliers.
November 19, 2002
Anthony and Jon catch what may be their biggest break of all – the two meet John P., a successful entrepreneur who founded a chain of quick service restaurants in Boston. The three hit it off and Anthony and Jon quickly realize that they must do everything they can to bring John P., a “real” guy who shares their passion, onto the team.
After many meetings, the two persuade John P. to come aboard and together the three co-founders embark on the quest to create a “healthier” fast food restaurant.
Anthony and Jon conduct 7 focus groups to help determine the name and menu. Soon after, they begin to fight over the focus group results. The menu becomes the largest point of stress in both their lives.
December 2, 2002
Anthony cannot sleep because he thinks that without a chicken parmesean sandwich, b.good will fail. Jon cannot sleep because he thinks that a chicken parmesean sandwich will be too labor intensive and in the end, will result in the destruction of the dream.
December 9, 2002
Anthony, Jon, and John P. make the landmark decision to name their restaurant b.good.
December 15, 2002
At John P.’s encouragement to bring on a real chef, Anthony and Jon meet with Tony, an editor at a top food publication who has worked in some of Boston’s best restaurants. Although Jon and Anthony have never been to those restaurants, they know they have something special and immediately enlist Tony to the b.good squad.
December 2002 – February 2003
Anthony and Jon continue their fight over the menu. Jon takes the practical approach of making sure the menu is manageable. Anthony takes the idealistic approach of trying to offer everything that a customer may want. Both, at points throughout these arguments, want to physically hurt the other.
January 20, 2003
The team begins to perfect its burger. They will spend countless hours trying and retrying different spice combinations.
January 26, 2003
Tony and the trio prepare for b.good’s first-ever investor tasting. For a first run, things go well and all of the b.good food is well received.
John P’s wife, Maggie, a b.good believer from the beginning, begins her education of the co-founders. It takes a little while, but the trio comes to understand that the words “low-fat” and “fat-free” don’t necessarily mean “healthier”.
February 12, 2003
Anthony email’s John P. at 3:00 a.m. and finds him working on b.good tag lines. John P. comes up with “real.food.fast” and it sticks.
February 17, 2003
Anthony, Jon and John P. meet to finalize the business plan. They do not leave John P.’s apartment until the dream is put to paper for the last time and is ready to be sent out to potential investors.
February 19, 2003
With the core intact, b.good adds another key member to the team. Jay Snowden, one of Anthony’s best friends from college who shares the common entrepreneurial passion, is welcomed to the crew. Aside from just being a tremendous teammate, Jay adds essential business and management skills.
February 26, 2003
Anthony ends a phone conversation about the menu with the words – “you’re a complete idiot” and hangs up the phone. Jon begins to cry. (that’s a joke)
March 3, 2003
Anthony and Jon survey 300 random people on Back Bay streets to reconfirm that the team should go with the name b.good. Feedback included such useful tips as, “you guys suck”, “don’t talk to me”, and “your restaurant will never work”. In the end, b.good wins in a landslide.
April 1, 2003
Working through the burger spices, Tony has a break-through and believes he may have found the perfect combination. Uncle Faris agrees.
April 3, 2003
Anthony, Jon, and John P. find what they believe is the perfect location for b.good – 131 Dartmouth Street. Anthony and Jon spend hours sitting outside counting foot-traffic around the prized location.
April 4 – 10, 2003
Jon and Anthony sit outside 131 Dartmouth for a total of 20 hours counting foot traffic. Jon gets smiles and winks and is given encouraging comments. Anthony gets suspicious glares and is given the middle finger.
April 10, 2003
Jon cannot sleep because of proposed size of the burger. Anthony cannot sleep because of the proposed burger bun. Uncle Faris begins calling Jon, “Shaky Olinto”.
April 19, 2003
The team purchases an oven that “air-fries” french fries without oil or grease. After trying to insert the machine’s special, industrial plug into Anthony’s parents’ dryer socket, the team decides they need to find a more suitable location. Jon’s friend allows b.good to use a plug in an abandoned restaurant inside of a local fitness center. Anthony and Jon cart the huge machine and the b.good french fries and seasonings to the gym and spend hours working on b.good’s “real fries”.
April 26, 2003
Tony and the team hold b.good’s first full investor tasting and prepare nearly the entire b.good menu of products. With 15 people in attendance, Tony prepares 10 different sandwiches and 5 different salads. All guests leave happy, excited about the food, and completely stuffed.
May 15, 2003
Team b.good’s hopes become reality when they realize that Tony has in fact created the perfect burger.
April – May 2003
Anthony and Jon decide it makes sense for them to start working at restaurants. Anthony is the first to start looking for a job. He is turned down from over 10 restaurants. Out of options and unable to get a job on his own, Anthony asks John P. for a job at one of his restaurants. Anthony slices his hand open and burns his arm during his first day of work. Jon gets a job offer within his first day of looking. Anthony’s ego is hurt and he questions his worth as a person. Jon continues to rub it in flaunting his fast food cap as often as possible.
Tony can’t sleep because he is about to ask his girlfriend to marry him. John P. can’t sleep because his wife is 4 months pregnant. Jon can’t sleep because he is worried that toasting bread is too labor intensive. Anthony can’t sleep because he is worried he is going to choke Jon to death.
September 4, 2003
b.good receives its permits from the City of Boston. Finally, the building of the restaurant can officially begin.