Long Beach Jersey Mike's Owner Is Proof of American Dream

Originally Published at Grunion Gazette by By Ashleigh Ruhl

Whenever you walk into a Jersey Mike’s sub shop in Long Beach, you’re walking into one man’s proof of the American dream.  Franchisee Alvaro Garcia, 44, owns all four Jersey Mike’s fast-casual sandwich restaurants in Long Beach, representing only a handful of the 40 locations he operates throughout Southern California and the Central Valley.

His success didn’t come easy, according to the man who was only a teenager when he immigrated to the United States from Nicaragua back in 1987.  The 16-year-old only knew how to say “hello” in English, but he managed to secure his first job as a Domino’s Pizza delivery driver, watch television shows to help him learn the language and graduate from high school.   “There weren’t the same opportunities in Nicaragua during the revolution,” Garcia said, noting that he is grateful to Domino’s for quickly promoting him from pizza delivery driver to assistant manager to store manager and eventually to district manager.

In 2011, he became a Jersey Mike’s franchisee, committed to one day own 100 Jersey Mike’s sub shops in California and Hawaii.  “I started looking into the Jersey Mike’s brand in 2010, and I really liked their fresh products and friendly service,” Garcia said, noting that the first sub he tried was the No. 13 Italian, which he still enjoys after five years in the business.

Garcia said he’s happy to see some of his own employees learn about the restaurant industry and have chances to move up within a company, like he did.  He’s a strong believer that the United States is a land of opportunity, but he said people have to be willing to work hard and stay dedicated to their goals in order to succeed.  “It isn’t easy,” he said. “But anybody can do anything they dream if they put in enough time and effort.  It’s about how far you are willing to take it, but anyone can have a dream — it’s never too late.”  Read the full article here.