My name is Thomas Cox and I want to help you be better at the most valuable thing on earth…life.
I am a husband, father, former college football coach turned business owner. I am not a chef…I am a businessman who loves people and loves creating. I’m an entrepreneur that loves creating: successful businesses, time, great children, a great marriage.
My whole life I grew up in a football family and from the time I was 5 years old I knew I wanted to coach college football.My dad was a Hall of fame high school coach in Alabama where football is only second to Jesus himself. I played against my dad, and for my dad, and got to coach with my dad at the high school level for two years. I went on to college coaching and had the pleasure to coach under some amazing people at both NC State University and Tennessee Tech University. After the second kid came along I realized I was raising college kids instead of my own. I knew God was leading me out of college football.
The Local Church
After coaching football, God led me to a job at a local church. Not that this has anything to do with the job, but I am very regimented when it comes to health and nutrition. I love to workout and eat real food. I don’t push it on people but sometimes people would ask “how can they eat better?” or “can you help me?” Three months after I started my job at the church, my boss walked in and asked me to make him a meal plan. So, I did. Then he told his friend, and his friend told his friend, and so the story goes. Within 3-4 years, we had serviced thousands of people in 26 different countries with a digital meal plan. All from a borrowed laptop in my spare time. Because we were so busy during that time, I started working ‘coaching hours’ again. My wife called it to my attention and I asked my boss if I could be part time at the church.
Before I knew it, I was doing meal prep from a buddy’s commercial kitchen. I cooked for friends and other people in town and it slowly started to grow. I rented a 440 Square foot kitchen of my own in the middle of nowhere just outside of Cookeville, Tennessee. No heat, no air, and some old kitchen equipment. After a few months, my buddy asked me to cater a pharmaceutical lunch for him. That’s when it really started. I started seeking out other friends that were in the pharmaceutical industry and medical device sales. When I catered a lunch, I would post about it on Facebook. It grew. People started talking! I talked some people into letting me cater a few events for them and went over the top with service and food. We worked hard, and long, but we loved what we did. We stayed in that small kitchen for about a year, then moved to downtown Cookeville and started a brick and mortar lunch salad bar, while still offering meal prep and catering. At the time, we were the only people in town doing meal prep and that’s when it went crazy. We really starting making some money but still lived our same lifestyle. We saved, we reinvested and tried to do more and more with the business for at least three years.
One day an old friend from college contacted me with an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. He asked if I would be interested in moving my business, my life, and family to Birmingham, Alabama. The opportunity was to run the kitchen and do all of the food for Highlands College, a ministry college that was started from Church of the Highlands. Both my wife and I are from a small town in Alabama, so we were familiar with it but we had always said “we’re glad we’ve made our new home in Tennessee” and never really imagined moving back. After much thought, I knew we couldn’t pass it up. We moved our operation to Birmingham and we have created an amazing kitchen on HWY 280. From there, the business (Mealfit) grew to preparing food for Highlands College, meal prep and delivery to over 20 gyms in the Birmingham area, and catering for casual events and companies all around Birmingham.
The Next Step
After a few successful years, I wanted to give a shot at catering higher end, corporate events and weddings. Events with a deeper and a more elevated experience. In April of 2019, we started brainstorming and created Table and Thyme. This is the branch of our business that offers full service catering, allows us to be more creative in our culinary experiences, and provide a higher quality end product. With Custom made menus and a staff that is second to none, we strive to deliver an elevated catering experience.
When I stepped away from my dream job in December of 2012, I knew there was something more but I was so scared. I went from a $60K salary to a $35K salary overnight. Because of our lifestyle and habits, we were ‘savers’ and ‘budgeters’ so the cut in pay just meant we had to tighten up our spending. I knew that I needed to do something else. At the time, I was not sure that the church was the right path for me but I knew I needed to provide for my family and that is something I struggled with for some time. The money wasn’t an issue but it made life a little uncomfortable. Jackie, my wife, was a part time teacher and coach and only made about $20K a year. If you do the math, a $55K household in 2012 was not great. But God had something in store for us. In the first year out of coaching we made $8K doing meal plans for people all around the world. In year two (2014), my focus was split between the church and meal planning. I realized my focus needed to be 100% on meal planning and within six months we made $80K in meal planning. At that point, Mealfit became full time. Scared is not the word, but it was full of uncertainty. I was raised all my life to ‘take the salary’ and ‘be a good middle class citizen’. When I decided to become fully self employed, my parents thought I was crazy but they trusted me. Through it all, my wife was supportive, motivating, and encouraged me to take the leap.
I was never taught that I could:
A.Do what I wanted to do
B. Make as much as I wanted to make
C. Have as much time as I wanted to have
The one thing I continue to learn, and want to share with you wherever you are is that life is not about winning or losing or about being the best. In the day and age where busy is a badge and hustle is the buzzword, I want to help people figure out how they can have all they want from a business, a family, a marriage, and from the relationships around them and still be happy. It’s about gaining traction in all areas of your life so you can be the best version of YOU.