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Diving into the world of sub sandwiches, Jersey Mike’s Subs stands out with its unique history and delicious menu options. As a growing fast-food chain, it has captured the hearts and taste buds of many with their New Jersey Shore-style subs. But beyond the mouth-watering sandwiches and friendly service, there are some lesser-known, peculiar facts about this popular eatery that might just pique your interest.
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The Origins of Jersey Mike’s
Established in 1956 as an authentic Jersey Shore sub shop, Jersey Mike’s has grown over the years into an unstoppable force in the fast-food industry. Despite its humble beginnings, the over 1,900 locations throughout the United States have become synonymous with quality sandwiches and a dedicated customer base. With this impressive expansion, there are undoubtedly some offbeat, intriguing details about the company that even the most devoted fans may not be aware of.
Peter Cancro, the CEO
Peter Cancro, the CEO of Jersey Mike’s, started working at the original Mike’s Subs at the age of 14. When he was only 17 years old, he borrowed money from a high school gym teacher and was able to purchase Mike’s Subs. In 1987, he changed the name to Jersey Mike’s Subs to represent the New Jersey roots of the business.
New Jersey Roots
Mike’s Subs initially opened in 1956 in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. With a focus on high-quality, sliced-to-order subs, it swiftly became a local favorite. After Peter Cancro acquired the sub shop, it has grown to become a national chain with over 2,000 locations across the United States.
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Recession and Growth Stories
Jersey Mike’s impressive growth can be attributed to a combination of dedication to the original recipe, excellent customer service, and strategic expansion plans. Even during the recession, Jersey Mike’s continued to grow. This perseverance demonstrates the brand’s strength and commitment to providing quality products and exceptional service to its customers.
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The ‘Sub Above’
Jersey Mike’s Subs prides itself on serving ‘A Sub Above’ – a sandwich loaded with the freshest ingredients and bursting with flavor. It starts with the bread, which is baked fresh daily and has a soft, distinctive texture. The meats and cheeses, including favorites like provolone, ham, cappacuolo, and roast beef, are all sliced to order for maximum freshness.
Another unique element of Jersey Mike’s sandwiches is “The Juice,” a blend of red wine vinegar and olive oil that is generously drizzled on each sub. This secret formula enhances the sandwich with a tangy kick and keeps loyal customers coming back for more.
Secret Menu Surprises
While the menu at Jersey Mike’s offers a wide variety of classic subs, there’s also a secret menu for those who know what to ask for. Some popular secret menu items are the Pork Roll, which is a New Jersey specialty, and the Super Cheese, featuring a heaping portion of melted cheeses. In addition to these lesser-known favorites, you can also customize your sub with a choice of toppings, such as bacon, to create a truly personalized sandwich experience.
Vegetarian and Vegan Options
At Jersey Mike’s, they understand that not everyone is a meat-lover, so they also offer a delicious Veggie sub for vegetarian and vegan customers. The Veggie starts with the same fresh bread and is piled high with provolone cheese (or left cheese-free for vegans) and a colorful array of vegetables. Topped with “The Juice” and any additional condiments of your choice, the Veggie sub proves that even without the meats, a Jersey Mike’s sandwich can still be a delicious and satisfying meal.
The Mike’s Way
The “Mike’s Way” is the signature style of a Jersey Mike’s sub. It incorporates a unique combination of ingredients that sets them apart from other sandwich shops. The Mike’s Way consists of shredded lettuce, sliced onions, tomatoes, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and oregano. The distinctive layering of lettuce, onions, and tomatoes, along with the blend of red wine vinegar and olive oil, adds a fresh and tangy flavor to any sub.
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Jersey Shore Influence
Jersey Mike’s Subs originated in the Jersey Shore area, where it has impacted the local culture by becoming a popular dining destination for both locals and tourists. The brand’s commitment to quality ingredients and its “Mike’s Way” of sandwich customization has made it a symbol of the region’s unique cuisine and the Jersey Shore lifestyle.
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New York Yankees Relationship
Jersey Mike’s Subs has established a strong relationship with the New York Yankees, one of the most renowned baseball teams in the United States. With a mutual dedication to excellence, the collaboration has led to exciting opportunities, such as exclusive sandwiches for Yankees fans and special promotions during games. The partnership reinforces Jersey Mike’s commitment to sports-centered, family-friendly experiences and reinforces its cultural relevance among fans.
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Jennifer Lopez’s Favorite
The brand’s popularity extends beyond the sports world, reaching the taste buds of celebrities like Jennifer Lopez. The multi-talented artist has expressed her love for Jersey Mike’s Subs on various occasions, adding another connection to the pop culture spectrum. This celebrity endorsement further amplifies the brand’s cultural impact and influence on food trends.
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Day of Giving
Jersey Mike’s Subs is known not only for their delicious sandwiches but also for their dedication to charity. One example of this dedication is their annual “Day of Giving” event. On this particular day, 100% of the sales from participating stores go to a local organization in need, demonstrating their commitment to fostering a culture of giving within the company.
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Month of Giving
In addition to the Day of Giving, Jersey Mike’s also hosts an annual “Month of Giving” initiative. Throughout this month, customers are encouraged to make donations at their local Jersey Mike’s to benefit various charitable organizations. The end of the month culminates with the Day of Giving, ultimately amplifying the impact they can make for those in need.
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K9s for Warriors Partnership
Jersey Mike’s has partnered with K9s for Warriors, an organization dedicated to providing service dogs to veterans suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other service-related traumas. This partnership helps to raise awareness for veterans’ mental health issues and provides crucial support to help service members transition back to civilian life.
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Wreaths Across America
Another demonstration of their charitable spirit is Jersey Mike’s involvement in Wreaths Across America. This organization works to honor fallen veterans by placing wreaths on their graves during the holiday season. Jersey Mike’s partnership with Wreaths Across America ensures that many deserving heroes are remembered and honored each year.
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Cancro Special Reward
The Cancro Special is a coveted reward exclusively available to Jersey Mike’s most dedicated fans. Named after the founder, Peter Cancro, this special treat includes a personalized sandwich and an unique experience. To qualify for this reward, customers are required to amass a certain number of points through the loyalty program.
Rosemary Parm Reward
Another enticing offer within Jersey Mike’s Loyalty Program is the Rosemary Parm Reward. Customers who reach a specific milestone receive the mouth-watering Rosemary Parmesan Bread, only available in select locations. This exclusive reward showcases their commitment to quality and unique flavor combinations.