Clutching a paper napkin in one hand and a Philly cheese steak in the other, Jean Embree offered up her verdict.
“The flavor is excellent and the meat is very high quality,” Embree said. “Most people don’t bother to buy good meat because they think people don’t care.”
The Altadena resident was one of a dozen customers filling tables and happily munching on sandwiches Wednesday at the opening of Jersey Mike’s Subs sandwich shop in La Cañada Flintridge.
The new eatery, located at 711 Foothill Blvd., next to Penguin’s, is the work of brothers Allan and John Simmons. The pair first discovered the New Jersey-based franchise three years ago in Ventura.
“My brother called me and he said, ‘Listen, there is a sub shop that just came into town called Jersey Mike’s. Why don’t you go take a look at it?’ John said. “I was like, ‘Jersey what?’”
It took just a few bites of Jersey Mike’s The Original Italian sub sandwich, however, to convince him.
“It is unlike any other product or sandwich I have ever had before,” John said.
The brothers set their plans in motion. While they don’t live in La Cañada, the Simmons and their children have numerous friends in the city and decided it was an ideal location. They were so confident in the product that they fronted the start-up costs themselves.
“It is virtually impossible to get a loan, so we are self financing, which is challenging,” John said. “But we are well capitalized, and we are glad to be here and to be supportive of the community.”
John and Allan spent 400 hours working at a Jersey Mike’s Subs in Newbury Park, followed by two weeks at the original location in New Jersey.
“You go back and it is still the same guys who run the original shop,” Allan said.
What sets Jersey Mike’s apart from other sandwich joints, the brothers said, is the freshness of the ingredients. High quality meats are sliced in the store, not processed somewhere else and then delivered.
“I’m glad to put our product against any sandwich in town, I think you will fund the product and the customer service will be paramount,” John said.
Members of the La Cañada Flintridge City Council and the local business community were on hand for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of Jersey Mike’s.
“The Chamber of Commerce welcomes Jersey Mike’s Subs to La Cañada Flintridge,” chamber CEO Pat Anderson said. “We are delighted that Jersey Mike’s selected our town in which to do business.”