It's only been open for a little more than a week, but the moment you walk into Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches on 822 Del Prado Blvd., S., you know instantly it isn't like any other sandwich franchise.
The music is a little louder, the workers are a little louder and the clientele is a little younger. It's also a place that, while it takes its business very seriously, doesn't mind showing its quirky side.
Jimmy John's, which was opened by a college student in 1983 and now has thousands of franchises nationwide, has filled a niche in the area as a sandwich shop that caters, has a drive-through and delivers on one of the busier intersections in town.
Staff members take a moment from work at Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches at 822 Del Prado S.
Kevin Hess and his wife, Shauna, came to Cape Coral to start new lives after successful careers in other fields. Shauna was an attorney and Kevin was in risk management for decades.
"My father-in-law and his wife were McDonald's franchisees for years in Omaha, and we decided we didn't like the snow very much, and we decided to move here," Kevin Hess said. "My wife's father saw there were Jimmy John's going up, so we came down here planning to do this."
The location at the Del Prado/Viscaya Parkway intersection gave them an opportunity they couldn't refuse, with lots of residential and business customers, especially with Cape Coral Hospital and the industrial park nearby.
The place opened Aug. 27 and has been busy pretty much nonstop, Hess said.
The theme of this place is "Freaky Fast," which Hess said his group is getting there with, since most everybody is new.
"There are 18 or 19 different sandwiches which people have to memorize and be able to fly through without trouble," Hess said. "This is a young group we have and it's tough with the evening crew."
The opening of Jimmy John's brought more than sandwiches, it brought work. The company created 50 mostly part-time jobs out of the nearly 300 applications it received.
More full-time jobs will be created whenever possible, Hess said.
The subs are as gourmet as you can get, with a limited number of selections (five meats, one cheese, two types of bread), all under $8, and the order comes in faster than would a pizza. It also sells Jimmy John's brand chips and cookies.
And if you eat in, you sense a fun atmosphere, with fun signs on the walls with loud music and even louder staff, which Hess said has appealed to younger customers, although he does get a good mix.
It's an atmosphere that appeals to assistant manager Adam Spencer, who said he's started to see things really begin to clock with the staff.
"It's been great here. Busier than we had hoped. We hope to serve Cape Coral with smiles on our faces, and a friendly atmosphere," Spencer said. "We're able to offer all these jobs to people to the community and we want to create a fun atmosphere, which we do."
Jimmy John's is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., although it will open sooner if the bread is ready. For more information, call 458-4600.