Everyone knows food is necessary to sustain life in our bodies, but not everyone realizes it feeds our hearts and souls, too. Jonathan Tufts, however, is very aware of that fact.
Tufts’ interest in food bloomed when he was just a little guy. “I sat on the couch with my mom, while she copied recipes off our favorite show “Frugal Gourmet”. I’ve had fun with food my entire life.” At the age of 39, Tufts is both an accomplished chef and a successful restaurateur. He’s a native Texan, born in Harris Hospital in Fort Worth.
It was a meal he shared during his college years, which sealed the deal to his life-long commitment to food. “I lived in a house with three other guys,” he recalled. “It was basically a fraternity house, so there was always activity, with people in and out and lots of noise.
“One day, I told everyone I was going to cook dinner, inviting them to come over and to bring a friend. More than twenty people turned up. Everyone was talking and laughing, fooling around, and making noise.
“I served the meal, and, suddenly, the house went utterly silent. I looked around, and no one was talking. They were all just eating!
“The only times I could remember it being that quiet were at night when everyone was sleeping– if that! It was an amazing feeling – and I was hooked. I had finally found a future I wanted to pursue.”
He began gathering as much knowledge as possible about cuisine and various eateries by working jobs in every area of the industry possible – from the front door to the back door of restaurants.
Tufts had a long-range plan, but he couldn’t dive in immediately. Even though he knew he wanted to open a restaurant, two things prevented him from advancing: One, he felt much more he needed to learn about the industry. Two, he was a papa at 22.
“I had to provide food for my own family before I’d even consider cooking for customers,” he said. “I worked more than one job at a time, but they were all food-focused. I never stopped thinking food is everything.”
Tufts’ dreams began spinning into reality in 2018 when he opened the first Eagle’s Point Bar & Grill in the heart of Saginaw. There was a ton of homework done before the “Now Open” sign appeared.
“I believe it’s mandatory to research and find out what your potential patrons want and need. After that, construct a pleasant and inviting environment. But, it really doesn’t matter how wonderful the food and environment may be, you’ll still fall flat without a quality staff.”
The Saginaw location is frequented mainly by hard-working folks. “And they want good, hearty meals with generous portions,” Tufts said, “and that’s what we give them.
“We opened Eagle’s Point in Old Town Burleson in 2022, where we serve quite a few finger foods. Soon after, in June 2022, we opened Eagle’s Point at Eagle Mountain Lake. We include lobster rolls and whole, fried catfish on the menu there. All three have similar menus, each with a few special items of its own.
Things have not always been easy on Tufts’ frequently hectic journey, but never has
he forgotten “food is everything.”
COVID hit not long after Saginaw opened. “We were closed for 6 ½-months,” Tufts recalled, “and I honestly thought it was the end. I needed to think of something.”
And so he did!
Tufts was always intrigued by the thought of a food truck. Now was the time to try it.
“I launched Brooder and Bovine and parked it in front of Eagle’s Point in Saginaw. I focused mostly on breakfast and used the kitchen in Eagle’s Point for cooking and storage. It worked out so well that I still have it and still use it. The only difference is that, now, it has a short, targeted route and I no longer park it in front of the restaurant.”
2022 was such a crazy ride that Jonathan’s wife, Mandy, has requested no more openings in 2023. But Tufts is still looking forward to expanding his brand.
2024, we reckon?
“I have four sons,” Tufts explained. “They’re seventeen, eleven, six, and five and they are amazing. I want to build a legacy for them.”
The seeds in Jonathan’s legacy garden have already begun to sprout, and the community is looking forward to watching it flourish.