Thom and Kathy Coker have transformed small breakfast joints into award-winning and top-rated Arizona dining institutions.
Opening their first restaurant T.C. Eggingtons in Mesa in 1985 and their second restaurant, Ncounter, in Tempe since August 2011, the Cokers know a thing or two about the food industry and the East Valley culture.
Mr. Coker, owner and founder of T.C. Eggington’s and Ncounter, says their success is from the Coker family personal touches that are brought to the restaurant.
“I have personally hired and trained everyone who has worked here. It’s the personal involvement we’ve committed to ourselves and our two restaurants,” he said.
From the beginning of T.C. Eggington’s to the creation of Ncounter, the Cokers have managed to stay up to date with the crowd trends and development of culture within the valley.
Mrs. Coker explained T.C. Eggington’s as a sit-down family gathering restaurant. While Eggington’s tends to cater to an older crowd, Ncounter is more upbeat and college-town friendly, she said.
“Being less than a mile away from the university and located on Mill Avenue we had to take a different approach while deciding on the environment of Ncounter,” she said.
Mr. and Mrs. Coker mentioned that Ncounter is greatly inspired by the younger Coker generation. Their two daughters, Ashlee and Kyndal, help bring fun and fresh ideas, Mrs. Coker said.
“Having our daughters involved brings a unique urban style to the Ncounter experience,” she said.
Editor’s note: Brittany Hughes is a journalism student at the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and wrote the article as a class assignment.