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  How many Grilled Cheese?
Recently we held a contest to figure out how many different Grilled Cheese Sandwiches we can make here at Best Regards Bakery & Cafe.  This employs what one of our customers, a self professed math nerd calls combinatorics.  Look it up, it is real and actually kind of fun.

Try to understand that we did not set out to attain some huge number, but we wanted everyone to be able to experience the Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich.  The Ultimate is different for everyone because we all have that one ingredient that we love, but can't get when we eat out.  We have created a system where you can pick your favorite Artisan Bread, your favorite cheese, or two and then add that something special that makes it You!
Theory:  To calculate the possible number of grilled cheese sandwiches you need to:
1.  Multiply the number of Breads
2.  Times the number of cheese combinations
3.  Times the number of "add-on" combinations
     You need to have some basic ground rules to make the math somewhat meaningful.  There is a great website to do the dirty work of the math.  Math is Fun
Artisan Breads:
We have 6 Artisan Breads that we bake from scratch, naturally leavened (sourdough), including French Country, Rosemary, Whole Wheat/Multi-Grain, Asiago Cheese, Belgium Rye and Gluten Free.  We also carry 2 Breads from Udi's for the hard core gluten free people that like the taste of that brand.  This is a total of 8 Breads.
Rules:  Both slices of bread must be the same for the sake of math and our sanity.   

We currently have a total of 21 different cheese options.  This number will fluctuate over time as we fall in love with a new cheese or if one just falls out of favor. 
Rules:  You may have a maximum of 3 slices of cheese, duplicates are OK and order does not matter.  This all makes sense, but in reality, you can select more than 3 if you really want.  The tricky part here, and where I first made a mistake about 9 months that Alvin, the mathematician helped me out with is to not forget the number of GC Sandwiches with 1 or 2 slices of cheese.
     1 cheese possibilities:      21
     2 cheese possibilities:    231
  + 3 cheese possibilities: 1,771
Total Cheese combo's: 2,023

We currently have 17 different add-ons.  This is where the real magic happens in making really special and amazing.  We have seen some really strange combinations here that we later went back and tried and were surprised how well they tasted!
Rules:  You may have a maximum of 4 add-ons, duplicates are not OK (even though we do allow them), just to make the math more believable and order does not matter.  Yes, we have done more, several times (father in law, lol), but we are trying to keep the math real and more believable.
     0 add on possibilities:        1
     1 add on possibilities:      17
     2 add on possibilities:    136
     3 add on possibilities:    680
     4 add on possibilities: 2,380
Total Add-On Combo's: 3,214

Final Tally:  8
     x      2,023
     x     3,214
     =  Grand Total of 52,015,376 
Possible Grilled Cheese Sandwiches!

Do any of you want to figure out what the number is if we allow duplicates on add-on's like double Bacon?  I have already done the math, but will not post it here, just in case some of you want to present this math problem to someone.  Just email me for the correct answer!  Thank you for your time and support.  Let us know which one is your favorite!
Bakery Menu Catered Boxed Lunches
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Lunch is pretty easy if you start with the most amazing bread!
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6759 West 119th Street, Overland Park, KS  66209
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