Proving Jersey Mike’s Subs motto “we give to give,” Jersey Mike’s Palm Beach area locations donated and distributed more than 1,650 subs, 60 cases of water, and 600 pounds of ice to Florida Keys residents in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
Led by Greg McMenaman, a Palm Beach Gardens franchise owner, the subs and water were collected from 27 different Palm Beach area Jersey Mike’s locations and driven by refrigerated truck beginning in Key Largo and working down to Key West. The truck arrived in Key Largo at 9:30 on Friday Sept. 22 and made it to Key West at 8 p.m. the following evening.
McMenaman was joined by Mike McMenaman Jr., a Jersey Mike’s Royal Palm store manager, and Heather Kratz, a third grade school teacher at Timer Trace Elementary in the Palm Beach County School District. The school organized a clothing drive and made cards of support for Kratz to hand out on the journey. On their way they mapped out fire and police stations where they could stop and drop off anything they had that might be needed, hitting all but two along the way and handing out subs to the crews and local residents.
“We didn’t really stop and think about why we were doing it, we just saw the need and wanted get up and go help,” says Greg McMenaman. “The two core principles at Jersey Mike’s are ‘give to give’ and serving others. Those two things just happened naturally and it’s a real testament to the caliber of franchisees, corporate store division leaders and managers in Florida who made it possible.”
As they moved down the coast, McMenaman and his crew were firsthand witnesses to the devastating effects of the hurricane. “As we moved down the Keys, we could see debris piles were getting heavier, and fewer and fewer businesses were open.”
The truck stopped to feed clean-up crews at several businesses and restaurants along the way including the famous marina Bud N’ Mary’s, and Robbie’s restaurant. From there, they moved through Marathon, Sugar Loaf Key and Big Pine Key, distributing as much as was needed by businesses and relief organizations as the signs of destruction grew. In Big Pine Key on Saturday morning, Jersey Mike’s gave more than1,000 subs to NC Baptist Disaster Relief which was distributing food and water to appreciative locals.
“We were hugged and told we literally answered prayers that morning because a close-by restaurant that had been helping provide food couldn’t do it anymore—and then we just pulled up in our truck,” McMenaman says. “When you’re giving just to give, it doesn’t get any better than that.”
Jersey Mike’s, a fast-casual sub sandwich franchise with more than 1,500 locations open and under development nationwide, believes that making a sub sandwich and making a difference can be one and the same.