When you think “sub shop chain”, you probably think Subway (for the inexpensive footlong), Quiznos (for the free cookies), or Jimmy John’s (for the free smells). But Jacksonville’s own Firehouse Subs menu with prices 2020 has been building a remarkable empire of the own, conquering 41 states and counting. Firehouse co-founder Robin Sorensen invited us out to a bonkers weekend at Bell Cross Ranch in Cascade, Montana to understand more about his company, and, in the process, we became grizzled ranchers. Here’s what we learned from the experience.
Firehouse Subs was founded by two former firefighter brothers in 1994, specifically Robin (left) and Chris (right) Sorensen. Their dad was a firefighter, and a lot of other Sorensen dudes before him — the family is honored on 200 years of professionally putting out flames. However the brothers chose to try something different, and left the biz to eventually open their first sandwich shop in Jacksonville in ’94. Only after “dozens of tips for different concepts and different businesses”, according to Robin, though, such as a Christmas tree farm. So if you smell fresh pine needles in one of the restaurants, you know why. (You’re possessing a stroke.)
Firehouse puts mayo on just about everything – New Yorkers best clutch their vintage Jeter jerseys, because at Firehouse, even their precious pastrami gets dressed in mayonnaise. But Sorensen insists he wasn’t trying to blaze a brand new condiment trail. “Inside the South, we put mayonnaise on everything, therefore it wasn’t anything we even discussed,” he says. “You place mayonnaise on a sandwich. The reply to pastrami from delis in New York City is that’s unheard of, it’s mustard only. I love that, too. But everything that drove us was our personal personal tastes.”
Cascade, Montana is prime for panoramic photos – With a population of under one thousand, this town really requires you to retreat into nature, and it’s pretty spectacular. Make sure you Instagram with caution, though. Montana is home to serious predators like mountain lions, and in case they’re as bad as that certain from Talladega Nights, you’re in deep s**t.
Each restaurant features some of the Firehouse Subs catering menu history – You are able to catch the firefighter influences on the sub chain through their sandwich names (Hook & Ladder, The Engineer) as well as their signature style (“fully involved” — meaning a serious fire in industry speak — gets you mayo, deli mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, along with a kosher dill pickle on the side). But hqpdwo will also get local fire chapters associated with every outpost. Each spot gets a custom mural, and also the local departments can pitch in whatever representation they love, which range from old archived photos from the team in action to retired captains’ leather helmets.
Their hot sauce is a nod with their dad… who is still greatly alive. Firehouse loves hot sauce a lot, they made their particular branded stuff with regional Datil peppers. (Though Datils are pretty hot by themselves, the sauce is more of a medium heat.) Chris and Robin named it after their dad to commemorate his 43 years on the force, nevertheless it had some unfortunate, morbid consequences. “Obviously, that meant many people assumed he was dead,” Robin says. “We were required to let them know all, no, he’s still around.”