Jersey Mike’s has opened its newest sandwich shop in the Village of Pacific Highlands Ranch on April 29. Jersey Mike’s specializes in authentic subs, loaded with fresh-sliced, premium quality meats and cheeses, hand-prepped veggies on bread that is baked fresh daily. Subs can be done “Mike’s Way” with onions, lettuce, tomatoes and a blend of olive oil, red wine vinegar and spices. For the opening, they will be offering 25 percent off subs through May 3.
Local owner Cathy Brown said she hopes to fill a need in Pacific Highlands Ranch for a quick-stop for families to pick up something good to eat. Especially right now, she said people are interested in having a grab-and-go option.
“This is not an ideal circumstance to be opening a store but we’re going to go ahead and do it,” said Brown.
Since 2009, Brown has been the area director of San Diego County, overseeing all Jersey Mike’s stores. As a franchisee with her husband Mike, they also helped jumpstart the San Diego market—opening locations in Mission Valley and Mira Mesa in 2009, followed by stores in Point Loma, at San Diego State, Rancho Penasquitos, Miramar and Del Mar. The Del Mar location in Beachside Del Mar just celebrated its fifth birthday and Pacific Highlands Ranch will be their eighth San Diego location. The Carmel Valley resident also owns three stores in Northern California.
The oldest of her three children Garrett, a Torrey Pines High alumni, is now involved with helping to run the Jersey Mike’s stores with his parents.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not been without its challenges for Brown and her business.
“The first five weeks, the overall market was down 40 to 50 percent,” Brown said. “It was just terrible and heartbreaking and stressful.”
However, last week when the sunshine came out again she said they were only 5 percent off the previous year. Then on April 20, sales were 20 percent higher than the Monday before. “We are starting to see a rebound, it is super encouraging.”
Brown said Jersey Mike’s has figured out how to operate under the conditions—they offer online ordering and pick-up as well as delivery through Door Dash, Grub Hub and Uber Eats. They have a plan in place for social distancing for customers and all stores go through an extensive cleaning process.
When stay-at-home orders are lifted, Brown said they expect to do a grand opening and continue on with Jersey Mike’s philanthropic efforts, such as their planned opening fundraiser for neighboring Pacific Trails Middle School and Canyon Crest Academy.
Every year, Jersey Mike’s designates the month of March as the month of giving and every March, Brown’s Jersey Mike’s stores have raised money for Rady Children’s Hospital—over $1,350,000 has been donated over the last eight years. They missed out on having as big of a March as they did last year when they raised $261,000, but customer donations plus her in-kind contribution this March resulted in a $50,000 donation to Rady’s.
In addition to supporting Rady, which is a cause close to Brown’s heart as a life member of the Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary, Jersey Mike’s is also very involved in supporting local sports leagues and schools. It is important to her to be able to combine her passion for philanthropy with her business.
“We do the Torrey Pines graduation every year,” Brown said with a tinge of sadness. “We’ll get back at that stuff as soon as we can. It’s who we are.”
Jersey Mike’s is located at 6030 Village Way Suite 107. Check out the menu and order online at jerseymikes.com/20313/san-diego-ca