Tom Burtch spent many years at a reliable job, working for a respected company; but when opportunity arose to purchase a carry out and restaurant in his hometown, Tom and his son, Matt, jumped at the chance. That was in July of 2016. Since that time, they’ve worked hard to build into the Parkway school system, give back to the village of Rockford and surrounding area, and overall, be a witness for Christ.
“We face challenges here every day, and there are things that don’t go according to plan.” said Tom, speaking recently with TV-44’s Jennifer Beck and Wayne Getz. “My emphasis lately has been giving thanks in all things,rejoicing in everything, and praying without ceasing, from 1 Thessalonians 5. Accomplishing those thigns can be a challenge! When a person calls in 13 minutes before their shift starts, your natural reaction is not ‘praise God.’ But yet, that is what we’re commanded to do.”
Tom and Matt Burtch purchased the Rockford Carry Out July 1, 2016.
“We had an opportunity, here where we were raised,” Tom said. “To buy a business, and to contribute back to the community in ways we weren’t able to do previous to that. Both of us were really excited about that opportunity.”
The father-son team started renovating the building, adding to the menu, and finding ways to invest in the community of Rockford.
“Both of us were really excited to get plugged back into Rockford, to do things with the school, the local businesses, and the people of the community.” Tom said.
What is the Rockford Carry Out?
The Rockford Carry Out is a restaurant, a drive through, a catering company, and a community cheerleader. It’s also a place of encouragement, hope and inspiration. For Tom and Matt, they believe this is more than just a daily job.
“It’s what we’re called to do….we understand that paying it forward is important.” Tom went on to say. “We’ve benefited a lot from this (Rockford/Parkway) community…the schools…and so ,for us to be able to give back to the community- the people- in whatever way we can, we want to do that. But were not just to the people in Rockford, we want to impact people in general. That’s our mission.”
“I always ask myself, ‘What is your why? Why are you doing what you do?’ I think often, we don’t stop and analyze why we actually do things? For us, we truly want to give back. When it comes to our operation and our employees, people say we do it by the book. Well for us, the book is The Bible.”
Doing it by The Book. The Bible. Every day that Tom goes to work, he likely supervises many pizzas and other great food items being made. He provides work opportunities for local high school students and looks for other opportunities to connect with Rockford’s downtown, the area schools and outlying businesses. But there’s even more. There’s a Higher Purpose. There’s a reason for this daily existence; and it all comes back to Jesus.
“He didn’t just save us for eternal life, but in order to live transformed lives here on earth. We have to be different.” Tom believes. “We have to follow the commands and encouragement we’re given in Scripture to be transformed. We have that opportunity regardless of what occupation we’re in.”
For Tom and Matt Burtch, their occupation is food. They believe they can use the food industry, specifically their restaurant, to be a witness for others.
“One of the ways we have done that,” Tom said.” Is through the sign out front. The sign says, It’s a great day to have a great day.’ People will say, ‘Why is that?” Well, you can turn about any conversation into one of a spiritual nature by planting the seeds. I think whatever our occupation is, we have missionary type opportunities. If we seek those out, and are open in our spirits to those opportunities, they will present themselves. Everybody we encounter is going through something. Generally, we have no idea what that is. But if we are open, and we take time to listen, we’ll have the opportunity to share…not just share love, but ultimately share Christ, and that’s why we’re here.”
Hear more from Tom Burtch by visiting the Rockford Carry Out:
156 S. Main St., Rockford, OH
Restaurant hours: Sunday-Wednesday, 11am-8pm; Thursday-Saturday, 11am-9pm.