Ahh, A Taste of Gourmet History. 1983 was a big year for America. Change was in the air. Reagan and old Bush were leading the country through the Cold War, GI Joe was dating Barbie, teenagers "tight rolled" their pants and slow danced to Total Eclipse of the Heart. For many, 1983 was a confusing, hungry place. People cried out for more, and not just more fondue.
It would be a 19-year-old with two first names that would answer America's cry for lunch – Jimmy John Liautaud.
Jimmy knew that if he kept it simple he could create the world's greatest gourmet sandwich. With a handful of cookbooks checked out from his local library, Jimmy perfected his award-winning bread. After creating four sandwiches, Jimmy tested them on friends and family, receiving praise he needed to press on. With no hesitation he opened the very first Jimmy John's. Paying a whopping $200 a month in rent, he could afford only used equipment consisting of a refrigerator, a chest freezer, an oven, and a meat slicer. The first Jimmy John's served soda with no ice (there was no room in the budget for an ice machine). As any good business story goes, things were not easy in the beginning. So Jimmy John Liautaud did what any young entrepreneur would do – he took to the streets with armfuls of free sandwiches. College kids loved his irreverent attitude and dirt-cheap prices. The fact that he delivered was icing on the cake. Jimmy John's has grown up over the last few decades. The irreverent attitude, low price, great food and delivery with a smile remain the same, but what was once the bratty little brother of the sandwich industry is now the super cool older brother that everyone else wants to be. We currently have over 1500 stores open.