True innovation is coming up with a product the customer didn’t even know they needed. Julia Chiavaroli, a Barrett Honors student studying Entrepreneurship, Spanish, and International Business, developed her understanding of this concept and launched her grilled cheese business called CHDR, via her ENT 360 / FSE 301 class – Entrepreneurship and Value Creation. A grilled cheese shop has always been something Julia’s family has talked about. After discussing the idea for many years, Julia was able to bring her and her family’s idea to fruition through the course of the semester.

In her research process, Julia began conducting interviews to learn more about what customers desired regarding a grilled cheese shop. She learned there would be a large market for college students on college campuses. She also learned about people’s differing preferences regarding a sandwich: many wanted a customizable option that was high quality, allergy friendly, and convenient. That being said, many college students and beyond, wanted a store that would be open late at night, especially for those late-night cravings and post-going-out food needs. Julia discovered the popularity in stores like In-N-Out Burger and Salad and Go and wanted to create a similar concept for grilled cheese. Thus, Julia established CHDR, a modern grilled cheese shop located on college campuses, bar streets, beach towns, and amusement parks. She is basing the store’s concept on positivity, adventure, and “enjoying the simple things in life.” As someone who loves to gain new experiences, Julia wanted to create a fun brand that went beyond grilled cheese.

Julia is now conducting research on opening her first location in Tempe on Mill Avenue. With such high popularity and profitability in to-go orders, Julia’s Entrepreneurship teacher, Brent Sebold, suggested she begin with a Ghost kitchen. She is now looking into the costs to establish the store as not only a ghost kitchen but also a window ordering system. Julia plans to continue to research and develop her business model through her honors thesis project for the 2023-2024 school year.

Julia claims that “This is a business people didn’t know they ever needed. They will fall in love with the taste of the sandwiches, and the branding that comes with them. I mean who doesn’t like grilled cheese?”

Click here to see Julia’s presentation