Over the course of a 25-year career, Dean Kessel has truly done it all. From orchestrating a $100-million dollar sports sponsorship for Sprint, managing the BASS division for ESPN and spearheading Lowe’s multi-sports activations, Kessel’s experience as a senior executive positions him as a leading businessman in the Research Triangle. Now, Dean and his wife, Beth, have successfully opened three Famous Toastery restaurant locations.
“I knew that after first dining at Famous Toastery, back when it was still known as Toast Cafe, that this was an interesting business to look more into,” Dean said. “When I went there as a customer, I immediately fell in love with the restaurant, and thought owning one of our own would be a great opportunity.”
In September of 2014, Kessel built on decades of leadership experience from his corporate career to open the first Famous Toastery in the Research Triangle, specifically Cary, North Carolina, and the first location outside of the franchise’s home base in Charlotte. As one of the highest grossing restaurants within the 35-unit franchise, Kessel and his team have their sights set on a multi-store expansion across the Carolinas over the next five years, already making progress by opening two more locatoins in Asheville and Blowing Rock.
His locations have also earned multiples awards, including Cary Magazine’s 2017 Best Breakfast in Western Wake County, ranked number 13 out of 320 restaurants in Cary by Trip Advisor and designated as the number one breakfast spot in Cary by Foursquare.
“Dean and Beth have been great assets to our franchise system,” Famous Toastery founder and CEO Robert Maynard said. “They have really dedicated the time to grow their businesses, becoming a staple in their communities, and making sure that customers get a feel for our ‘Every Server is Your Server’ motto and delicious scratch kitchen specialties.”
In fact, Dean and Beth point to Famous Toastery’s atmosphere and food as major differentiatiors that have helped them flourish.
“I don’t see Famous Toastery as a chain restaurant, in fact, I think it has the most ‘un-chainy’ feel to it,” Dean said. “We work to create a different culture and unique experiences for our clientele. It’s not just about the food, it’s about creating a memorable experience for our customers so that they want to keep coming back. People can go anywhere to get a plate of eggs, but when they keep coming back to Famous Toastery, that’s when we know we’re creating a comfortable atmosphere for the community. People come for the food the first time, but they come for the hospitality the second time, that’s just how this industry works.”
While working to create a pleasant environment for both their customers and employees, the Kessels have found that focusing on helping their staff succeed is their main goal, which also allows them to embrace a low turnover rate.
“When they’re successful, we’re successful. We make sure to get to know our employees on a personal level and keep up to understand what they like or wish to improve on,” Dean said. “When our employees are enjoying the job, it gives Famous Toastery a more ‘right at home’ feel”.
To learn more about franchising opportunities with Famous Toastery, visit