Business Spotlight: Jimmy John’s

A new franchise in the valley, this sandwich shop prides itself on using quality ingredients and will bring your sandwich and chips to you!

Photo by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
If Jimmy John’s mom tells you to eat there, you should probably listen to her.

■ By Corey Evan / Reporter

Raise your hand if you think 30 minutes for lunch is just not enough. If your hand is up, Jimmy John’s Sandwich Shop sees it and is ready to put lunch in that hand in 30 seconds.
Founded in 1983 by Jimmy John Liautaud (a real person, of course!) in Champaign, Illinois, Jimmy John’s Franchise LLC has more than 2,600 locations nationwide. Of those franchises, 98 percent of those are owned, not by the corporation, but by real people trying to make a living, and one has put out the welcome mat in Hemet! It’s so new that the Hemet/San Jacinto Chamber of Commerce celebrated its grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony Feb. 14.
Located in the Stater Bros. shopping center at Florida and Sanderson avenues, tucked neatly behind the Shell gas station, Jimmy John’s prides itself on serving “Subs so fast you’ll freak,” according to its website. And these are good quality sandwiches, built on bread baked in-store every four hours. Their ingredients also lack any artificial nonsense.
“We’re very fresh… I do all of my slicing,” says franchise owner Jonathan Raef, who comes in daily at 6 a.m. from Yucaipa–easily a half-hour drive–to prep his shop for opening time. And he enjoys working with his team.
When JJ’s says its ingredients are fresh, they mean it. After four hours, instead of trying to use up the last batch of bread… they bake another.

Photo by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
The Italian Nightclub sandwich, $7.99. Jimmy Chips and a fountain drink are just a suggestion.

“We also sell our ‘day-old’ bread. We call it ‘day-old’, but it might just be a few hours old. We sell it for 75 cents a loaf. It’s really good bread… We just don’t use it for sandwiches anymore; it doesn’t fit our freshness standards.”
If you just can’t get away from your desk (who isn’t familiar with that problem?), Jimmy John’s will bring your food right to you if you are within a five-minute drive of the shop. And they won’t get lost as they have a digital map of Hemet, in-store.
Delivery charges are $1.25 for each sandwich, up to $5 maximum. In short, if you need a big party tray and can’t get away from the party to pick it up, they’ll bring it your way for a fiver.
But when you can find some time to go into the shop to relax a bit, you’ll find a laid-back atmosphere. And it’s adorned with tons of quirky signage and inspiring (albeit a bit silly) quotes.
“It’s just a modern, fun atmosphere,” said Raef. “We like to have fun while we work.”
Their top sellers are the Italian Nightclub, with ham, capicola, salami and an Italian vinaigrette, as well as the Beach Club, which is turkey and provolone with avocado. Tasty!
Jimmy John’s is definitely a hot commodity; CNN Money listed the chain in its “10 Great Franchise Bets” list in 2016, so that’s saying they know a good sandwich when they see one.
Give Jimmy John’s a try–you can order anytime between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. everyday. And if you just can’t get to the shop, take advantage of online ordering at www.jimmyjohns.com or phone Raef’s team at (951) 652-1010. But try not to freak when they have your sub ready before you can fill up your drink cup. They’re just quick like that.
And be sure to keep an eye out for Customer Appreciation Day when you’ll be able to snag a sub for a buck! Check their website for that offer, and prepare for a line out the door.

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