Raejeanna Foster is opening her first restaurant in Mount Vernon, Washington, on Wednesday, May 14, nearly one year to the day that she was awarded her own Jersey Mike’s franchise by company founder and CEO Peter Cancro on Food Network’s reality series, “Giving You the Business.”

Jersey Mike’s Subs, known for its grilled subs, will open at 115 E. College Way, and Foster will hold a grand opening and free sub fundraiser from Wednesday, May 14 to Sunday, May 18 to support Mount Vernon High School.

The new restaurant is circulating 10,000 coupons throughout the community offering a free regular sub for a minimum $1 contribution to Mount Vernon High School.

Foster began her career with Jersey Mike’s as a manager in training three years ago and her hands-on approach to leadership was why she was selected to compete on the Food Network show. Most recently, she was a general manager of three locations in Mukilteo, Shoreline, and Redmond, working with franchise owner Steve Berry. As a young mother of four, the new franchise owner is hopeful to continue expanding by opening more locations in Washington.

In “Giving You the Business,” which aired May 16, 2013, four standout Jersey Mike's managers from around the country were handpicked by Cancro to be put through a series of challenges to test their skills. The show usually ends with one winner who is awarded their very own franchise. However, in true Jersey Mike's fashion, Cancro chose to award all four contestants with their own Jersey Mike's franchise. Foster is the first to open a restaurant.

“We couldn’t be prouder of Jeanna and know that as an owner she’ll continue to be an extraordinary representative of the Jersey Mike’s brand,” Cancro says. “On the show, and every day in our restaurants, Jeanna shows great heart, an inspiring work ethic, and a true commitment to her teams and customers.”

Foster says it was surreal when Cancro announced she’d have her own franchise.  “Opening up my own restaurant is a dream come true,” she says. “Everyone within Jersey Mike’s has made this so easy. We can’t wait to open our doors, serve everyone, and get to know our new neighbors.”

Foster shares the company’s commitment to quality products and exceptional customer service, and is dedicated to giving back to the local community. Since 2010, Jersey Mike’s locations throughout the country have raised nearly $10 million for worthy local charities and have distributed more than 750,000 free sub sandwiches to help numerous causes.

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Fast Casual, Growth, News, Sandwiches, Jersey Mike's