TOGO’s opened its doors in 1964, the brainchild of two NMU students, Tom Neumann and Gordon Reed.
Neumann departed after a year and then, in 1966, Reed also decided to move away.
Joseph Fountain, who owned TOGO’s from 1966 to 2009, said, “Gordon Reed and his wife decided to move to California and I purchased the TOGO’s name and business from [him] and he moved to California.”
Fountain then moved to a new location farther up Third Street and eventually relocated to the business’s current site.
“The best move I think TOGO’s ever did was move to this location,” Kathy Garrow, current owner of TOGO’s, said. “We did it because of parking. We have a full parking lot, where before our parking was really stressful, like everything on Third Street. Also we were able to put in our bakery; we always had to order out our bread every day. We started with the Sweet Goods Shop, then we went to Marquette Bakery, then we had Trenary Bakery and finally by making this move we got to open our own bakery so we bake seven days a week now.”
And in the mid ’90s, Fountain opened up a second TOGO’s location on US–41 in Harvey. In addition to growing and expanding, TOGO’s has developed a symbiotic relationship with the community.
Garrow said, “We pride ourselves on giving back to the community. We sponsor many, many, many different sports teams for our youngsters. We also do donations to many charities in the area. We help out the women’s center, the Janzen House, anything that we can think of that can help out our community, TOGO’s is ready to do.”
Recently, they introduced a loyalty card that rewards continual customers.
Be Embley-Stoll, general manager, said, “It’s very convenient; it’s tied to your phone number, whatever phone you usually like to call from. You don’t even have to remember your card. Your points just get added automatically and there are details on how many points that you can accrue per sandwich and how many you need to redeem. You can look that up on Facebook and our website.”
And one of the restaurant’s coolest features is being able to order a sub with the ingredients on the side to take to a friend in, say, Chicago. Also, if you were wondering why it’s called TOGO’s:
“In the original shop there was absolutely no seating; the only seating was milk carton crates so the sandwiches were to go. But more significant than that was the two owners were Gordon and Tom. They took the TO from Tom and the GO from Gordon and that’s how the name TOGO’s originated.”