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Flip Cam Creator Says "Cheese"

Jonathan Kaplan's new venture seeks to bring the beloved grilled cheese sandwich to customers at a new restaurant called The Melt.
June 3, 2011

NEW YORK - Remember the pocket-sized Flip Cam? In 2009, Jonathan Kaplan sold his firm, Pure Digital Technologies, to Cisco Systems for $590 million, left the company, and in April, Cisco shut down Kaplan��s Flip unit along with its entire consumer division.

Sure, he��s disappointed but he��s also moved on �" to grilled cheese.

Earlier this week Bloomberg BusinessWeek wrote that Kaplan is planning to open a nationwide chain of restaurants �" The Melt �" offering five variations of the grilled cheese sandwich. Kaplan has enlisted the help of celebrity chef Michael Mina to help with the menu to make sure the grilled cheese offer is memorable. Cause let��s face it �" we all know how to make a grilled cheese.

"People have a reaction to grilled cheese that is different than other food groups and is more similar to chocolate than hamburger," Kaplan told the news source, adding, "They talk about loving grilled cheese, they don��t talk about liking it."

For $7.95, The Melt��s soup-sandwich combinations will include the Classic (cheddar and potato bread with tomato soup) and the Mission (pepper jack on sourdough, with a roasted corn and tortilla soup). Chefs are also working on gourmet options like a goat cheese and mint sandwich with carrot ginger soup.

Kaplan is also brining his high-tech background to the kitchen. In conjunction with Swedish appliance maker Electrolux, sandwiches will be cooked in a specialized oven that��s part microwave and part induction burner that can serve a perfect grilled cheese in less than 60 seconds. The Melt will lean on social media to generate buzz and attract customers and will have a smartphone app for online ordering.

Kaplan��s The Melt could be open in the San Francisco area by Thanksgiving. It��s a good idea, but not exactly unique��a simple Google search reveals that there is already a well-established grilled cheese restaurant �" with a similar name �" in Ohio called Melt Bar and Grilled.