Aron Lees is getting ready to introduce his Quad-Cities hometown to a new sub sandwich shop — all the way from the Jersey shore.
Lees, an Orion native, and his wife Camilla are the co-franchisees of a Jersey Mike's Subs, opening Sept. 20 at 2124 E. Kimberly Road in Kimberly Crossing shopping center in Davenport.
The couple has worked for Jersey Mike's the past three years: Aron as operations director over the Minnesota stores, and Camilla, running one of its stores.
With a newborn baby girl, the pair relocated to be closer to Lees' family. His wife is from Denmark.
"We feel that making a sub sandwich and making a difference can be one and the same," said Lees, who grew up in Orion and graduated from Augustana College.
The national chain is known for the experience it provides its customers, from knowing them by name when they arrive to its practice of freshly slicing meats, cheeses and baked breads for the customers to see. Lees said the chain has a reputation for its "authentic showmanship" in its sandwich preparation.
"What Jersey Mike's has done best is we focus on one thing: being a Sub Above," he said borrowing the company's tagline.
Jersey Mike's traces its roots to 1956 when Mike's Subs pioneered the sub sandwich in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. Today, CEO Peter Cancro leads the company that has grown to more than 1,500 locations. Cancro was hired as a 14-year-old in 1971 at Mike's Subs. At just 17, and in high school, he secured a loan from his football coach, who also was a banker. In 1987, he changed the name and began franchising.