Kim Blea reminisced about asking her parents for a loan to purchase a Lompoc restaurant when she was 20-years-old while sitting at a table in Tom’s. The burger joint that was purchased with the loan money is now celebrating its 40-year anniversary this month.
Blea, who took over full ownership of the business in 2000, had one of her more emotional days at work on Dec. 3 — the exact 40-year anniversary date of the restaurant’s initial opening on Dec. 3, 1979. When Blea showed up that morning, she found 40 customers lined up and waiting for her. Each presented her with a carnation to celebrate the milestone.