Franklin Philips and Tobin George have been buddies since childhood. They
grew up dreaming of opening businesses and buying and selling stock.
Barely into their teens, they convinced their parents to sign off as
custodians of their trading account so they could legally trade stocks!
When Franklin graduated cum laude from Pace University, he began working
Manhattan internships with Con Edison, IBM, UBS Financial, Lehman
Brothers, and USA Today. At lunch, or hanging out with Tobin, he began
frequenting the New York City street vendors that sold grilled chicken and
lamb mixes and kabobs.
“The lines would extend around the block,” says Franklin. “We heard about
these vendors virally, by word-of-mouth. The taste of the grilled meats
served with bread and a special sauce was so good, you just had to tell
Working in the ‘real world’ environment of mid-town Manhattan, Franklin
continued to sharpen his skills in accounting, finance, business, and
technology. Then late one evening, Franklin had the idea that would become
the “Samosa Cabana Indian Grill.”
Franklin told Tobin about his idea, and the two friends soon became
partners. They decided they wanted to build a new hip yet casual Indian
grill focused on quality Indian ‘grab and go’ fast food with a young and
The two entrepreneurs wanted their business to be more a reflection of
them and their lifestyle, rather than a traditional Indian restaurant. “We
wanted a serene atmosphere that was comfortably cool, and would attract
mainstream attention,” says Franklin.
The friends decided to go for it, and were able to secure a lease for a
building in Downtown New Rochelle. They renovated and redesigned the
kitchen and restaurant space, while simultaneously interviewing Executive
Chefs from around the globe. The Partners were looking for a Chef that
would understand and embrace their mold-breaking ideas on Indian fast
food, as well as mainstream American, and traditional Indian tastes.
Indian-born Executive Chef Jose Kochuveettil, not only understood what
Franklin and Tobin wanted, he stepped into the Samosa Cabana kitchen and
created it. “Chef Jose,” as he likes to be called, has more than 30-years
of international experience as a Chef, including Executive Chef positions
in Bombay, Saudi Arabia, and Manhattan.
Samosa Cabana opened with a gala ribbon-cutting ceremony on January 29,
2008, that featured Franklin, Tobin and His Honor, New Rochelle Mayor,
Founder & CEO – Mr. Philips, 24-years-old, graduated Cum Laude at
Pace University in Pleasantville, with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in
Business Information Systems. Born in Bangalore, India, Franklin came to
the United States at the age of four. Franklin was raised in Yonkers, New
York, graduated from Sacred Heart High School there, and still resides in
the City. An avid swimmer, Franklin enjoys reading books and articles on
business and technology, playing the piano, singing with — and leading
his church choir, and an occasional night out with friends.
Founder & Vice President – Mr. George, 21-years-old, is a Nursing major at
the College of Mount Saint Vincent, in Bronx, New York. Tobin was born in
Paramus, New Jersey, and relocated to the Bronx with his parents at the
age of three. Now living in Yonkers, Tobin grew up in the Bronx,
graduating from Cardinal Spellman High School in Baychester. Tobin’s
passion for helping people, and his profound interest in medicine, led him
to the study of nursing. His other interests include working out, managing
Samosa Cabana, scoping out the newest, coolest cars, and making time for