March 3, 2018 – West Bend, WI – It was October 2017 when we first reported Firehouse Subs would be coming to West Bend. The owners have now closed on the lease and more details are being released.
Franchise owners Sharon and Bob Erickson said the new sub shop will “tentatively open in May or June of 2018” at 1733 S. Main St. in West Bend; it’s the former location of Menchies/Cherry Berry in the strip mall to the south of Pick ‘n Save south.
Erickson already owns two other Firehouse Subs franchises, one on Port Washington Road in Grafton which opened in 2017 and the other on Brown Deer Road.
“We live in Cedarburg and we come to West Bend for the restaurants and because my daughter plays hockey at the Kettle Moraine Ice Center,” said Sharon. “Plus I think we’re going to do really well in West Bend because Firehouse Subs just sets itself above and beyond with food quality and service.”
Generous portions is one of the quality aspects of the Firehouse Subs franchise along with the friendly camaraderie with the customers.
“When people come in the door we’ll say ‘Welcome to Firehouse Subs’ and if it’s one of our regulars we’ll identify them by their order like saying ‘it’s turkey, bacon, ranch with no tomato, no onion,’” she said.
When the Ericksons explored the franchise they drove to corporate headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida and met the founders. “They’re former firefighters, but now they’re multimillionaires and just as down to earth as can be,” said Sharon. “I was really impressed that in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina they took a truck full of food to serve victims and first responders in New Orleans. That action led to their public safety foundation and in Wisconsin the franchises raised $386,618 and were given to first responders.”
The Ericksons have followed that lead and already donated an AED, ATV and an infrared camera system to local organizations. “That’s why I wanted to go with Firehouse Subs,” said Sharon. “This is me really living my dream and giving back to the community and developing relationships.”
Opening their third franchise the couple looked at a number of areas but “corporate really liked West Bend.”
“They like the size, it’s a regional draw, and Firehouse Subs liked that standpoint,” said Sharon. “For us it’s a good community and our kids take piano lessons there. Plus we also like the corner of Main and Paradise and this is the best intersection in all of West Bend.”
The Ericksons said they also get quite a few customers at their Grafton store who come from West Bend. “People are always asking when we’re opening in West Bend and now we can tell them we are,” said Bob.
Construction on the build out is expected to start in the next couple weeks with an opening in about eight weeks from now. Firehouse Subs normally employs about 25 people.
The restaurant is open seven days a week from 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. The décor normally is based around firefighting and has a local flair.
Other businesses coming to the strip mall include Cricket Wireless and ATI Physical Therapy.