Jersey Mike's Subs owner Bill Mapes will open his 5th store in the East Valley here on Wed., Apr. 22. As he has done with each of his openings beginning with his first store in Tempe, Mapes will celebrate with a fundraiser that involves free subs and donations to a local organization. The Tempe location opened a little more than a year ago, in April 2008. Mapes also owns Jersey Mike's stores in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Chandler.
Mapes introduced the legendary Jersey Shore subs to Arizona, and despite a sluggish economy, has not slowed down plans for growth in the area. He will open two more stores on his own this year, one in North Scottsdale and one more in Tempe. As Jersey Mike's area director he expects an additional 15 stores owned by other franchisees to open in the next two years in Tucson and the West Valley and also untapped parts of the East Valley including Gilbert and Mesa.
"This is a great time for Jersey Mike's in Arizona," Mapes said. "People here love the authentic Northeast-style sub and the old-fashioned deli vibe including the banter and the sense of community. We like to get to know the first names of all our regular customers and I think those things along with a quality product that is superior to other subs - and people can tell the difference - is the recipe to our success."
Sales at all of Mapes' stores are running an average of 40 percent higher than their opening weeks. Mapes also reports the first week of April was a record week for his combined store sales.
Mapes hails from Cherry Hill, N.J., where he first developed a love of the original Jersey Mike's Subs in Point Pleasant. After getting the opportunity to work with Jersey Mike's founder and CEO, Peter Cancro, Mapes decided to bring the franchise to Arizona when he moved to Scottsdale two years ago.
"We could not ask for a better representative of our brand," said Cancro. "We call it the Mapes Factor. Bill is a leader who is out there achieving success in every store. From site selection to community involvement to preparing the best products, he does it right."
Mapes employs between 15 and 20 people at each of his stores and he has chosen from about 400 applications each time. He expects many of the new franchisees to come from within his own ranks.
"When I hire someone they have to be willing to take ownership," he said. "They have to run the business as they would their own. They have to be happy to be here, be polite and be willing to do every job in the store. I want even my cashiers to want to own a Jersey Mike's some day."
Mapes and his wife Leslie live in Scottsdale and have two sons, Corey and Sean, who are both store managers and intend to become Jersey Mike's franchisees.
The new restaurant, located at 4605 East Chandler Blvd., is hosting a 5-day fundraiser from April 22, 2009 through April 26, 2009, with proceeds supporting Mountain Point High School. Anyone who has a fundraising coupon can get a free regular sub for a $1 donation. Coupons are being distributed throughout the community and in local newspapers.
Store hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. You can contact this store directly at (480) 753-6453.
Jersey Mike's, a sub sandwich franchise with more than 400 stores open and under development nationwide, has a long history of community involvement and support. Started at the Jersey Shore in 1956, Jersey Mike's serves authentic Northeast style subs on fresh baked bread - the same recipe it started with over 50 years ago. The company's mission is to bring its customers the highest quality, freshest made sub in the industry and give back to the communities in which it operates. A store locator and franchise information for Jersey Mike's can be found at www.jerseymikes.com.