7 Start-up Success Stories

Larry Leith, Tokyo Joe's
Courtesy Company
3 of 7

Larry Leith, founder of Tokyo Joe's

COMPANY: Tokyo Joe’s
FOUNDER: Larry Leith, 49
LOCATION: Denver
2008 REVENUE: $22 million
EMPLOYEES: 350
START-UP YEAR: 1996
START-UP COSTS: $330,000 for the first restaurant; it costs about $600,000 to open a new location today
BREAKEVEN: Two months out on sales of $140,000
BIGGEST EXPENSES: Construction, architecture, and engineering materials and services constitute about 50 percent of total start-up costs.
QUALIFICATIONS: A self-taught knowledge of the cuisine, a flair for innovative store design, and a nose for hot locations
RED TAPE: Liquor licenses, construction and business permits, health inspections