Erbert & Gerbert’s Sandwich Shops, based in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, opened their 100th store this month. The honor happened to fall to existing franchisee, Manuel Pizaño-Carlo whose first Erbert & Gerbert’s location can be found in the hot Energy Park area of St. Paul. That restaurant opened a year ago and as Manuel planned his second location in New Brighton in Minneapolis it turned into the 100th store based on timing.
Originally a native of Mexico, Pizaño-Carlo moved to the states pursuing the American dream like most. “I moved to Minnesota as a college student to study architecture and learn English. I did not plan on staying but over time knew that the Twin Cities is where I belonged,” says Pizaño-Carlo, who worked in the real estate industry for 15 years prior to feeding his passion for food, fell in love with the E&G concept and family early on. Manuel plans at least three more locations in the Twin Cities in the next five years.
“We are thrilled with Manuel as a partner and franchisee,” says Eric Wolfe, president and CEO of the quickly growing Erbert & Gerbert’s chain. “And I am personally thrilled that our 100th location will be opening in my home state.”
Wolfe was born and raised in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and attended St. Cloud State University where he met his wife Diane 26 years ago. An Erbert & Gerbert’s location was recently opened at the university to the delight of Wolfe and students.
Businessman Wolfe led an investment group to acquire the Erbert & Gerbert’s Sandwich chain in 2004 and took over as president and CEO at that time. With an ambitious long-term vision for Erbert & Gerbert’s, Wolfe has added highly experienced professionals to oversee operations, marketing, brand opportunities, new store openings and training.
Wolfe has brought the then 23-unit chain to where it is today, opening its 100th location and building not only on great franchisees and traditional locations, but also capitalizing on the demand for great food within institutions such as college campuses, office complexes and the like. He has recently appointed eight-year employee Jeremy Mittlestadt to head up the company’s new non-traditional division.
In July the Minnesota Zoo welcomed an Erbert & Gerbert’s location and recently General Mills opened a location within its complex. E&G’s plans include 8 new stores in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis—St. Paul by end of 2018, plus 12 additional stores in other cities in the State of Minnesota by end of 2018.
“This is the future of great, gourmet in particular, sandwich concepts,” says Wolfe. People want a familiar name but a “touch above” the run of the mill fare of fast food. They want options, tastier and healthier if they so choose. Our diverse menu helps them enjoy that.”
To celebrate their 100th store all locations will offer $1 off of any sandwich to the first 100 customers each day from January 11 to 15.
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