Categories: Restaurants, Food & Drink | Issue: September 2023
Jersey Mike's Subs Serving Tulsa, Broken Arrow & Stillwater, OK
It started back in 1956, in this actual storefront location and was originally called Mike's Subs. Mike opened the small shop in the sea-side town of Point Pleasant, New Jersey. 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 of 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. Mike also benefited from the geographic location of his store. Point Pleasant, New Jersey is centrally located in the state on the legendary Jersey Shore. It is approximately 1 hour south of New York City, 1 hour east of Philadelphia, and about 3 hours north of Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C. For over a century, the people that lived and worked in these metropolitan areas would flock to Point Pleasant to experience the sun, surf, sand, boardwalk, salt water taffy, and all the treasures that made up the legendary Jersey Shore experience. Mike capitalized on the influx of vacationers, visitors and local residents by offering them his unique new product – submarine sandwiches. But what really differentiated his restaurant was the experience he gave his customers. Recognizing them by name, and knowing the sandwich they were going to order, because of their frequent visits. 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. For over half a decade, he built the business into a thriving landmark, and was a pioneer of the authentic subs sandwich. A very young Peter Cancro standing outside the original Jersey Mike's store In 1971, 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. He loved authentic submarine sandwiches. But even more, Peter loved working behind the counter, interacting and talking with the customers. He liked learning about where they were from and their summer vacation experiences. He took pride in knowing which authentic sub sandwich his loyal customer would order as they entered the store. 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. Peter approached his football coach and said "Hey coach, Mike's Sub shop is for sale, and I'm interested in buying it. Can you help me out?" It didn't hurt that his football coach was also a banker. The football coach came through for Peter, and backed his loan. So, 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. Shortly after buying Mike's, he married his former wife Linda and they opened a couple more local outlets of Mike's Subs. He expanded upon the phenomenon of Mike's Subs. Teaching the crew to interact and talk with the customer, to share a passion for getting to know the customer. He spent the next decade building on the cult-like following that Mike's Subs already enjoyed. They would have customers lined up out the door in the summertime waiting to get the authentic sub sandwiches that Mike's was famous for. In the mid-eighties, Peter heard more and more people say, "Peter, we're going to miss you and your subs this winter. We sure wish you would put a Mike's where we live!" People would come in at the end of the summer and get several giant subs wrapped for travel, to carry back to their homes across the country. This got Peter thinking, and he started researching the possibilities of franchising the Mike's concept. In 1987, Peter began franchising. He changed the name from Mike's Subs to Jersey Mike's Subs to capture the authenticity of where the authentic sub sandwich was born. Two customers really enjoying their subs at Jersey Mike's Today, Peter Cancro is CEO of Jersey Mike's Franchise Systems Inc., overseeing more than 2,000 locations open and under development. Despite the title, Peter still jumps behind the counter to test his skills and demonstrate his passion for the product and the customer. He tries to instill that passion in every store he enters and with every franchisee he meets. Today, the authentic taste – served Mike's Way® with lettuce, onions, tomatoes, oil, vinegar and spices – is available nationwide. Our secret? Everything about Jersey Mike’s is high quality. Our MSA Grade top round beef 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. At Jersey Mike’s, we offer a sub above – one that’s measured in more than inches or seconds ‘til served. We carefully consider every aspect of what we do – every slice, every sandwich, every store – we provide our customers with sustenance and substance too. Here's how we do it: The Juice - Red wine vinegar and an olive oil blend. It’s how a Jersey Mike’s sub gets its exquisite zing. It’s how bites get boosted, and a great sub becomes an even better one. The Juice adds that certain something extra. An exclamation. The kind of exclamation... you can eat. Pride in our produce - Our produce is grown, packed and shipped locally (where available), and then handled with the utmost care at our stores. When you eat one of our subs Mike’s Way, you can be certain that your veggies were prepped by hand earlier that day for the highest level of freshness and flavor. Quality ingredients - When it comes to quality, refusing to compromise has been an important part of our heritage. It's why we choose only the leanest, tastiest cuts of meats and fine, aged cheeses. We wouldn’t settle for any other way. Cooked in-store roast beef - We trim and cook our roast beefs, USDA Choice Top Rounds, right in the store. Fresh sliced, fresh grilled - Slicing meats and cheeses right in front of you is not only the tastiest way to make a sub sandwich – it’s the only authentic way. Same goes with fresh grilling cheesesteaks. At Jersey Mike’s, we would have it no other way. Serving oven-fresh bread daily - Authentic Jersey bread is the foundation of a sub above. We bake our bread fresh in our stores every day. Traditional white and whole wheat. It’s the only way to have a truly authentic Jersey Mike’s sub. Reviews This store is amazing, the food is excellent! The staff is top notch! And it's always the go to place whenever we're hungry! - Ronnie F. Love the sandwiches , and the workers all are nice! - Michelle T. Love their sandwiches! Great employees, great service! - Tracey R. Menu Cold subs, northeast-style cold sub sandwiches sliced fresh in front of you. Prepared Mike's Way® with Onions, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Vinegar, Oil and Spices, hot subs, Grilled fresh every time, our hot subs and cheese steaks are sure to please. Hearty, with tender meat and melty cheese, kids meal, kids sub, cookie and drink, chips, stubborn soda, catering At Jersey Mike’s, we offer a sub above – one that’s measured in more than inches or seconds ‘til served. We carefully consider every aspect of what we do – every slice, every sandwich, every store – we provide our customers with sustenance and substance too. Jersey Mike’s Subs is known for the incredible, fresh sandwiches offered all around the country. The stores use only the highest quality ingredients available in the United States. Meats are sliced to order directly in front of you and grilled in store. Subs range in size from the “mini” 5-inch to the large 15-inch, and each order is expertly prepared and wrapped at the authentic East-Coast style deli. Subs ordered “Mike’s Way” include onions, lettuce, tomatoes, vinegar, oil, and spices, but the combinations you can choose from are endless. The store has been offering classic and creative subs since 1956 and now has over 1500 stores throughout the county, including the three Tulsa Hills, Broken Arrow, and Bixby stores owned by Bobby Sanders and Troy Redmon. You shouldn’t give for the accolades, or the back pats, or the tax breaks. At Jersey Mike’s, we think you should give for one reason and one reason only: to give. Our culture of giving at Jersey Mike’s is as much a part of our heritage as oil and vinegar. We believe that making a great sub sandwich and making a difference can be one in the same. Every store we open starts by partnering with a charity in the local community. Because the way we see it, a sub’s job isn’t done at simply tasting good. A sub should do good too. Each March, the old-fashioned store hosts what is known as the “Month of Giving.” Throughout the month, the stores invite you to come in for more than a made-to-order, high-quality sub. They invite you to come in and help give back to the community. Throughout the entire month, each store accepts donations from customers, staff, and visitors to give to an area non-profit. The last Wednesday of March, 100% of sales go directly to charity. “We don’t donate 100% of profits; we donate 100% of sales” Bobby shares. Every penny spent at the shops will go directly to a local organization on that day. Over the last several years, they average between $12,000 and $15,000 in giving for the day. Nation-wide, the company has raised over $28 million since 2010 alone through it’s “Month of Giving” program. The generosity continues year-round, but by having a particular emphasis on the month of March, Bobby and Troy can include their community in the process by focusing on a specific charity and collecting donations throughout the month. Everyone needs a good lunch, and with the three convenient locations, everyone has an opportunity to stop by, enjoy a great sub, make new friends, and contribute to taking care of our Tulsa family.