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Jimmy John's gourmet sandwiches moving into the Capital Region

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The Jimmy John's gourmet sandwich chain that has vdenues in 10 Upstate New York markets is about to move into the Capital Region. A Jimmy John's is under construction as part of a sprawling Route 9 project that recently saw the opening of Bellini's Counter and other businesses just north of Newton Plaza in the Albany suburb of Latham. A check of progress today revealed that a late summer opening is being projected

The company was founded in 1983 when Jimmy John Liautaud opened his first shop in Champaign, IL,a venture that would evolve into today's 1,936 locations in every part of the U.S. except the New England states. The company history is an interesting one. To wit:

"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."

The sandwich menu runs the gamut from simple ones such as "Plain Slims" ham and cheese, tuna, turkey, etc.), "8-inch Subs," "Giant Club Sandwiches (such as the Italian Night Club cold cuts, Hunter's Club roast beef and Ultimate Porker smoked ham and bacon), all topped by the "J.J. Gargantuan (Genoa salami, smoked ham, capicola, roast beef, turkey and provolone with onions, lettuce, mayo, tomato and Italian dressing on housemade French buns). The chain also offers catering services.

I've never had a Jimmy John's creation, but he won me over with this message under a picture of one of his sandwiches: "Let's be honest, my sandwiches ain't gonna look this pretty, but they will be tasty!" Considering how many places offer sorry excuses of what they show in their ads with no apologies, that's refreshing.

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