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Mike's Way(tm) - Fifty years strong: Jersey Mike's Hagerstown
Mike's Way(tm) - Fifty years strong
Jersey Mike's Hagerstown
By Jennifer LB Leese
Jersey Mike's, a sub sandwich franchise known for its sliced/grilled East Coast-style subs served on fresh baked bread, has approximately 600 stores nationwide with as little as 2 stores opening per week.
At the original store in New Jersey, people would line up throughout the summer to buy the sub sandwiches that Mike was selling, and to enjoy the experience of coming into his shop. Now in 2012, that "want" hasn't changed a bit. "Jersey Mike's has a cult-like following," said Beth Provost, co-owner of the Hagerstown Jersey Mike's store.
Jersey Mike's Hagerstown turns one this May and they are having a celebration on May 16 5-8 p.m. This celebration will include Boys and Girls Club of Washington County with cake, face painting, and balloons. "We chose Boys and Girls Club because they help youth all over Washington County and our founder Peter Cancro has always supported the Boys and Girls Club in New Jersey," said Beth.
They are also offering a 10% catering orders for graduations taking place this May and June (coupon in this issue of the Picket, page A8). According to Beth catering trays serve 10-15 people and they recommend to have them made Mike's Way(tm) - it's a grab and go package that makes it easy to feed a group. Lunch boxes have a mini (5") sub, chips, and a cookie. "We also do lunch boxes with a regular sub, which is 7.5"".
Jersey Mike's Hagerstown franchise owners Patrick and Beth Provost along with their two daughters, Abbey (16) and Emma (14) decided to open in Hagerstown given the city's four state customer base, but largely because of its hometown feel. "Subs are a healthy choice for families," Beth said. "Having a sit down quick service restaurant lets us get to know our customers; as most are having a dine-in experience versus delivery of pizza."
The Provost family has been in the food business for twenty years as Domino's Pizza franchisees in the state of Maine. "We are originally from Maryland," says Beth, "and wanted to move back as our parents are getting older. We decided it would be a perfect opportunity to try something new." Being the second franchise to open in Maryland, the Provosts' take pride in the fact that it is continually growing.
Word travels fast and Beth says that after a year in business, they are still meeting people who are in for the first time after hearing about the restaurant from a friend of coworker. "We try to incorporate the community and fundraisers into our business," she continued, "so we have supported groups like Boys and Girls Club of Washington County, Washington County Humane Society, March of Dimes of Washington County, Breast Cancer Awareness of Cumberland County, and local teams with Spirit Day fundraisers.
"We are owner/operators, and we both work in the store daily so it helps to build the relationships with our customers."
The first store, called Mike's Subs, opened in 1956 in the seaside town of Point Pleasant, N.J. Mike was a pioneer in the submarine sandwich business, and capitalized on the influx of vacationers and visitors to the Jersey Shore. "You have to remember that in 1956, there were very few franchise restaurants or hamburger chains. No chain pizza, chicken or taco restaurants, either. In 1956, proprietors or mom-and-pop businesses would open their stores in basic storefront locations like you see here. To survive and thrive, they had to offer exceptional quality products, coupled with unparalleled service. In 1956, Mike was unique in that the product he was offering was a relatively new item in American society - the submarine sandwich.
"In 1972, Peter Cancro was a high school student in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. He began working at Mike's Subs at the age of 14. Peter loved working at Mike's. When Peter was a senior in high school, he overheard the owner of Mike's Subs discussing selling the business. He thought to himself, "I love the food, I love working in the store, maybe I'll buy the shop." Pretty ambitious for a 17 year old kid. So with the help from his football coach, at the tender age of 17 - before he was legally able to slice a sub - Peter Cancro became the owner and proprietor of Mike's Subs. (JerseyMikes.com)
Jersey Mike's continued its steady growth and in 2011 it opened 69 new restaurants throughout the country. The popular sub shop wins best sub awards in virtually every market it enters and proudly has raised more than $2 million for worthy local charities and distributed more than 100,000 free sub sandwiches to help numerous causes in 2011 alone.
"Passionate Jersey Mike's fans crave their subs made Mike's Way(tm) with onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and a signature blend of olive oil, red wine vinegar and spices. The company uses only private labeled meats and cheeses that are sliced fresh for each sub sandwich and piled high on in-store baked bread. Everything is quickly made to order for each customer, just the way the first subs were made at the original Jersey Mike's more than fifty years ago. The Jersey Mike's experience always includes its trademark neighborly banter served up by a high-energy Jersey Mike's team." (JerseyMikes.com)
Jersey Mike's Famous Philly is a bestseller at the Hagerstown Jersey Mike's restaurant. The Philly sandwich is a fresh rib-eye steak grilled and chopped up, and made fresh to order.
The restaurant offers a variety of subs, wraps, sub in a tub, and fresh baked bread as well as cookies, chips, fountain drinks and Texas Select Iced Tea brewed in the store each morning. They offer catering and box lunches for parties, work meetings, picnics, and more. If you're looking for a healthier version then try "our #7. The turkey is 99.5% fat free for example," said Beth. "Our meats are lean and the veggies are fresh. Vinegar and olive oil both have healthful qualities as well.
"We have salads, sub in a tub, and everything is custom made, so if you are making healthy choices we can make it in a way that suits your needs."
"Everything about Jersey Mike's is high quality. Our certified Angus Beef top rounds are trimmed and cooked right in the store. Our meats and cheeses are all top-quality premium brands. Our bread is fresh-baked each day on the premises. And of course, everything's prepared right in front of you. It's what makes Jersey Mike's the most authentic tasting submarine sandwich available. And it's a tradition of quality we'll never outgrow." (JerseyMikes.com)
Look for Jersey Mike's coupons in the Picket News' coupon issue (1st week of every month).
The restaurant is located at 18015 Garland Groh Blvd, Hagerstown. Call 301-393-9495 to place an order today.