Five-time All-Star baseball player Adrian Gonzalez has joined the Jersey Mike’s Subs team as the franchise owner of six locations in San Diego County. A four-time Gold Glove Award winner, Gonzalez is a first baseman with the New York Mets of Major League Baseball.

“Coming up in the baseball world, subs were a big part of our meals,” says Gonzalez. “The first time I tried Jersey Mike’s, I told my wife it was such a good sub, she had to try it. I love the fresh ingredients and how everything is sliced right in front of you. Everyone agrees Jersey Mike’s is a top sub sandwich enterprise.”

Operating partner Ken Nicola heads up daily operations.

“Adrian and I are focused on providing our customers with an authentic sub sandwich experience—just like they would have found at our very first sub shop at the Jersey Shore,” says Nicola. “Our premium meats and cheeses are sliced on the spot, we use the freshest vegetables, and add a splash of that irresistible Juice, our signature red wine vinegar and olive oil blend.”

Gonzalez bought the restaurants from a previous owner, including three locations in Oceanside, two in Carlsbad and one in Encinitas. He plans to open at least five more in the next five years.

Jersey Mike’s commitment to giving back also resonates with Gonzalez. “My wife Betsy and I love helping and being part of the community,” he said. “We are happy to join a company like Jersey Mike’s that has built making a difference into their business plan.”

Since 2010, Jersey Mike’s locations throughout the country have raised more than $28 million for worthy local charities and have distributed more than 2 million free sub sandwiches to help numerous causes.

This March, Gonzalez and his team are gearing up for the company’s 8th Annual Month of Giving, which in 2017 raised more than $5.5 million for nearly 150 charities throughout the country. This year, 38 San Diego County locations are raising money for Rady Children’s Hospital, trying to beat last year’s local fundraising record of nearly $192,000.

A number of professional athletes are involved with the Jersey Mike’s brand including NFL veterans Angelo Crowell and Van Jakes. The company is active in IFA’s Professional Athlete Franchise Initiative (PAFI), which connects professional athletes with franchise opportunities.

Started in 1956, Jersey Mike’s now has 1,500 restaurants open and under development nationwide.

The growth is fueled by passionate Jersey Mike’s fans who crave their subs made Mike’s Way with the freshest vegetables—onions, lettuce and tomatoes—topped off with an exquisite zing of “the juice”—red wine vinegar and olive oil blended to perfection. Jersey Mike’s premium meats and cheeses are sliced on the spot, piled high on in-store baked bread and served up with a helping of neighborly banter from a dedicated and high-energy team.

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