Cousins Subs celebrates 45-year legacy of serving quality sub sandwiches with ingredients sliced deli-fresh and grilled subs made to order on its signature Better Bread.

Cousins’ legacy began in 1972 when two cousins, Bill Specht and Jim Sheppard, brought their favorite style sub sandwich from the East Coast to their new hometown in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Since the start of the first location at the corner of 60th Street and Silver Spring Drive, Cousins has been driven by the belief that “quality has no substitute. For the last 45 years, Cousins has stayed true to its beginnings and continues to serve the finest sandwiches that adhere to Specht and Sheppard’s legacy of “Better Bread. Better Subs.”   

“After 45 years in the sub-shop industry, the look and feel of our restaurants may have changed, but the quality of our sandwiches has not,” says Christine Specht, president and CEO of Cousins Subs. “We recently underwent a large-scale rebranding initiative to streamline the look and feel of our restaurants by implementing a new in-store and exterior design concept. Due to the revival of our brand, we signed three new franchise groups and have plans to expand in Wisconsin and Illinois. This rebranding and growth process allows us to better serve our guests, while further emphasizing the history, values, and beliefs that have remained the pillars of Cousins Subs throughout the years.”

While it remains critical to keep up with new trends in the fast-casual restaurant industry, Cousins prides itself on serving the same local, quality flavor since 1972. The sub shop brings guests a taste of its home state by working with 12 Wisconsin-based vendors by featuring locally sourced food on its menu. Some of the signature Wisconsin-based menu items featured include Sprecher Root Beer, Wisconsin Cheese Curds, and all Wisconsin-based cheeses. Yet for 45 years, it’s been about more than serving quality sub sandwiches; it’s been about making a difference for those in the communities Cousins calls home.

“As a family-owned business, Cousins is founded on its commitment to serve others and treat everyone as family,” Specht says. “It’s important that we stay true to who we are, both in our history and foundation of Cousins. We must never lose sight of our legacy and the principles that Bill and Jim established for our company.”

The Wisconsin-based sub shop continues to invest itself in its local communities through initiatives such as providing monetary donations to area nonprofits, scholarships for continuing education, and food aid to pantries. As part of this longstanding tradition to give back, Cousins annually supports local nonprofits such as the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation and Hunger Task Force through effective, company-wide cause marketing campaigns. Through Cousins Make It Better Foundation, support is also provided to three key areas vital to any community: youth education, hunger, and health and wellness. Since its inception in 2013, the Make It Better Foundation has awarded a total of $245,768 in grants to nonprofit organizations that uplift its local communities.

The sub shop also deepens its roots to its home state through sponsorships with UW Athletics, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Green Bay Packers. By teaming up with these local organizations, Cousins can serve a broader guest base.

“As always, we continue to stay focused on our local communities and partner on initiatives that directly impact the quality of life for those we serve,” Specht says. “After 45 years, it is our commitment to give our guests a taste of better throughout all aspects of our brand, including our cuisine philosophy, culture and Make It Better Foundation. As we strive to continuously improve, we’d like to thank our family, friends, and guests who have remained loyal over the years.”

To show appreciation to those who have supported the local sub shop, Cousins recently selected one grand-prize winner to receive a weekend trip to Noah’s Ark on August 4–6 for up to 14 people including weekend passes, hotel stay, and Cousins Subs for a year. In addition, Cousins also awarded 44 first-place-prize winners with a $45 Cousins gift card and four general-admission tickets to Noah’s Ark.

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