Cheese sandwich

What prospects in the 'grilled cheese and soup space?'

June 22, 2011: 12:46 PM ET

How many grilled cheese sandwiches will it take to pay off Sequoia Capital's investment in The Melt, a restaurant-tech startup?

Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwich

Image via Wikipedia

FORTUNE -- Jonathan Kaplan, creator of the Flip video camera, is making the media rounds talking up his new venture: a chain of restaurants that serves nothing but grilled cheese sandwiches and soup.

Kaplan told Bloomberg Television last week  that he is starting The Melt, with somewhere between $10 million and $20 million in venture financing, because he looked around and noticed that there were a lot of ethnic restaurants -- Mexican, Italian, Chinese -- but he was "surprised that nobody had done anything in the grilled cheese and soup space."

In 2009, Kaplan sold the Flip phone to Cisco (CSCO) , which recently discontinued it. Like that product, Kaplan said, grilled cheese, is "a very nostalgic, memorable, homey product."

Ah, yes. Remember the grilled cheese sandwiches Mom used to make? The ones containing "experienced" gruyere cheese? That's what Kaplan ordered on stage earlier this month at the D9 Conference, where he unveiled his plans. More

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