About Us

Welcome to Crimson Melt!

The Crimson Melt is an eclectic concept that was ignited inside a firehouse. As firefighters respond to emergencies during late-night shifts, They often come back to their firehouses both tired and hungry. One thing they could always count on to be in the firehouse kitchen was butter, cheese, and bread due to the shift dinners that were made. Thus, they would often turn to a quick grilled cheese sandwich to curb hunger pains – but not just any grilled cheese sandwich…a “foodie style” masterpiece layered with a smorgasbord of whatever food items they could find in the shift fridge at the time. Thus, The Crimson Melt was born!

Created by a Retired Air Force Fire Chief, Ashontay Owens & his wife Cori Owens, The Crimson Melt introduces innovative grilled cheese sandwich, gourmet cheesecake and “Fully Engulfed” shake concepts that redefine the definition of “comfort food,” while also preserving the nostalgia that we’ve all come to know and love from a grilled cheese sandwich. Not only is The Crimson Melt passionate about cooking and eating these delicious foods, but we are also dedicated to raising mental health awareness for our first responder and military communities. We believe that Bravery is not in the absence of fear…but action in the face of fear!

WELCOME TO THE CRIMSON MELT!

Welcome to Crimson Melt!

The Crimson Melt is an eclectic concept that was ignited inside a firehouse. As firefighters respond to emergencies during late-night shifts, They often come back to their firehouses both tired and hungry. One thing they could always count on to be in the firehouse kitchen was butter, cheese, and bread due to the shift dinners that were made. Thus, they would often turn to a quick grilled cheese sandwich to curb hunger pains – but not just any grilled cheese sandwich…a “foodie style” masterpiece layered with a smorgasbord of whatever food items they could find in the shift fridge at the time. Thus, The Crimson Melt was born!

Created by a Retired Air Force Fire Chief, Ashontay Owens & his wife Cori Owens, The Crimson Melt introduces innovative grilled cheese sandwich, gourmet cheesecake and “Fully Engulfed” shake concepts that redefine the definition of “comfort food,” while also preserving the nostalgia that we’ve all come to know and love from a grilled cheese sandwich. Not only is The Crimson Melt passionate about cooking and eating these delicious foods, but we are also dedicated to raising mental health awareness for our first responder and military communities. We believe that Bravery is not in the absence of fear…but action in the face of fear!

WELCOME TO THE CRIMSON MELT!

Live Strong, Act Bold, Be Brave. Nothing’s Too hard to do, ALWAYS BELIEVE!

-Ultimate Warrior

ASHONTAY OWENS

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Ashontay Owens is the youngest of five children. He was born to Dwight and Ruth Owens, and resides in Moore, Oklahoma. He was born in Heidelberg, Germany and lived the early years of his life as a military brat. Due to his father receiving an Army permanent change of station, Ashontay moved from Germany to Bellevue, Nebraska when he was 9 years old. While attending high school at Papillion-Lavista, Ashontay met his wife Cori Owens, and they decided to start a life and raise a family together.

Ashontay joined the United States Air Force in 2001 as a Fire Protection Apprentice and has been stationed all over the world. He’s served on five overseas combat deployment campaigns and two one-year short tours to Korea and Honduras. The last three years of Ashontay’s military career would see him operating in the Assistant Fire Chief Role, providing Presidential Standby Operations and fire protection for Air Force 1, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, multiple foreign nationals, and many other distinguished visitors.

During his time as an Assistant Chief, Ashontay provided incident command and control, and safeguarded over 40K personnel as the authority having jurisdiction on multiple military installations. His keen attention to detail, experience, and leadership ability allowed him to gain an immeasurable amount of personnel, process, and project management experience. On June 1, 2021, Ashontay officially retired from the United States Air Force as a Master Sergeant, amassing an impressive 93 awards and decorations which span the course of a 20-year career. Ashontay holds a double Master’s Degree in Clinical Counseling and Human Services from Bellevue University.

He has been making delectable gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and cheesecakes for his family, friends, and his firefighters for over 15 years and is no stranger to understanding the life of a “foodie” due to his travels all over the world. He has a passion for creating eclectic flavor combinations and really brings out the concept of “stick to your ribs” and “mom’s home cooking” cuisine!

CORI OWENS

Chief Financial Officer

Cori Owens is the middle child of four siblings and was born and raised in Papillion, Nebraska. She resides in Moore, Oklahoma after serving as a faithful and dedicated United States Air Force spouse for over 20 years. While attending Papillion-Lavista High School, she met Ashontay and soon after, they decided to start a life together and raised two outstanding young men.

As a military spouse, Cori has lived in seven different cities and has always ensured that the home front was taken care of while Ashontay was away on shift and deployment. Cori holds a degree with Magna Cum Laude honors in Accounting from Bellevue University and currently works as a Department of Defense Budget Analyst for the United States Air Force at the Pentagon.

Over the last 10 years of her Department of Defense Civil Service, Cori has authored policy and guidance for command level operations, provided multiple financial acquisitions for Defense Support for Civil Authorities and is currently responsible for managing a $700 million budget portfolio for the Secretary of the Air Force, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force (respectively). Cori has a very in-depth financial background, providing immense amounts of experience in budgeting, auditing, financial program oversight, and project management from a strategic level. She understands the numbers and has a proven track record and resume with keeping the most lethal Air Force on the face of the planet in a sound financial state.

As Ashontay is the brains of the cooking operation, Cori is the heart and soul that provides the analytics required to keep The Crimson Melt financially sound while simultaneously generating healthy revenues with zero mission failure!

Susanna "Suzy" Cardenas

Chief Operating Officer & General Manager

Susanna “Suzy” Cardenas is an Oklahoma native who has lived in Tulsa most of her life. She later moved to Oklahoma City and loved it so much that she decided to establish new roots there. The youngest of seven siblings, Suzy grew up with a large family and has ties to the United States Army as her father served many years in the United States Army. She also has family members who served in the Navy. Suzy has worked in the food industry for over a decade and has mastered every position from cashier to management. She brings with her an exponential amount of management experience and an unmatched skill set that she has honed over multiple years of hustle, determination and grit. As the Chief of Operations & General Manager of the Crimson Melt, Suzy will oversee the day to day operations, training, development and advancement of the Crimson Melt staff and brand, ensuring that we grow into a premier Oklahoma restaurant.
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