A three-person team from Port St. Lucie, Florida, took home the gold and $30,000 at Jersey Mike’s Subs’ recent National G13 Competition in Orlando, Fla.
Port St. Lucie residents and Jersey Mike’s shift leaders Madison Ballash, Selena Cepeda and Austin Halle sliced, sprinkled and wrapped their way to sub-making victory in 70 seconds against five other finalist teams from throughout the country. The trio works at the Jersey Mike’s located at 262 SW Port Saint Lucie Blvd, with operating partner and manager Leigh Anne Cook.
“Leigh Anne brings us all together as a team. We are so grateful for her — she is more than a manager, she is a coach, mom, and role model,” says Cepeda, who has worked at Jersey Mike’s for two-and-a-half years, and is now studying nursing. “Jersey Mike’s is a beautiful company that truly gives to give.”
Halle, who has worked at Jersey Mike’s for five-and-a-half years, works two shifts per week at Jersey Mike’s and three shifts a week as a firefighter. He plans to use his prize winnings to head to paramedic school. “Jersey Mike’s is a family,” he adds.
Ballash, a two-year Jersey Mike’s team member, who is getting a bachelor’s degree in accounting, said, “We were not here to win — we were just excited to make it this far and compete as a team.”
Jersey Mike’s created the G13 Competition to reinforce the importance of safety, brand quality and speed of service with the company’s team members. G refers to Giant, the size of the sub competitors make, and 13 refers to the company’s most popular sub, #13 The Original Italian. In addition to fresh slicing all the meats and cheese, contestants dressed a sub Mike’s Way with lettuce, tomatoes and onions and showed off their “sprinkling,” skills, adding “The Juice” (olive oil/red wine vinegar) before cutting, wrapping and bagging each sub.
The teams competed September 16 at Jersey Mike’s National Conference in Orlando. More than 1,500 franchise owners, managers and others gathered to celebrate the company's 62nd anniversary, while gaining inspiration and education.
“We created this competition as a training tool to emphasize safety, quality and speed of service with our team members and it has become a competitive sport,” says Peter Cancro, Jersey Mike’s Founder and CEO. “We always say, ‘slow down and you’ll go faster,’ and that’s just what this winning team did. We are proud of all our competitors — they exemplify the values of Jersey Mike’s and we congratulate them all.”
The winners competed against more than 1,000 teams from across the country. The other top five teams competing in the National Championship came from Cincinnati, Dallas, Hagerstown, Md., Overland Park, Kan., and Stuart, Fla.