From the moment Art Jimenez took his first bite of Firehouse Subs, he knew he had discovered something special.
Jimenez, who has 30 years of experience in the business world, just opened his fourth West Valley Firehouse Subs franchise.
“I had a good friend who used to work for Wendy’s, and for two years she kept saying, ‘You know what, there’s a new sub shop coming our way out here in the west, and I think it would be interesting for you to franchise and see what you think about the product,’” Jimenez said. “Once I tasted the subs, that’s when I knew it was something special, something different, and that sold me — the product itself.”
Jimenez opened his first Firehouse Subs in 2014 in Buckeye, his second in 2015 in Tolleson, followed by a Goodyear location in 2016.
With Litchfield Park being his fourth site, he could not be prouder.
“For me, just being passionate about (Firehouse Subs) and knowing what we do here, it makes the process much easier than the first go around when I first opened my first restaurant,” Jimenez said.
According to Jimenez, his restaurant’s July 22 grand opening went “great.”
“We got the opportunity to feed a lot of people, and a lot of the military actually came out because we did some advertising,” Jimenez said.
Like all Firehouse Subs locations, Litchfield Park features a mural that is completely unique to the surrounding area. Jimenez wanted to make sure he highlighted more than local firefighters in this particular mural.
“This time around, I decided to do a little mix,” Jimenez said. “I did the fire department, and I also did the people from the (Luke) Air Force Base.
On Saturday, August 3, Firehouse Subs will host its eighth annual H20 for Heroes water bottle collection drive. Each customer who brings in a 24-pack of water bottles will in return be given a free medium sub. This drive is intended to give back to the firefighters and fellow first responders who actively tackle forest fires in the area. According to Jimenez, this drive has been very successful at his other locations.
“The customers bring in the water, and we stack them so high against the counter sometimes it’s hard to look at the employees over the counter because it’s so high — we have fun with it,” Jimenez said.
A nonprofit Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was enacted back in 2005. Since then, the franchise has been persistent in donating to first responders, with over $44 million contributed. For Jimenez, this is just another reason he wanted to be a part of the Firehouse Subs family.
“In life, you don’t get a lot of opportunities to give back to the community,” Jimenez said. “The fact that we get the opportunity to give our men and women a little bit more life — it’s just incredible to me that we have that much of an impact in such a small way.”
He continued, “To be a part of an organization that’s able to give back in such a way that impacts so many people because besides them, you never know when you may need something from a first responder. Every single customer needs to be asked, ‘Would you like to round up for our first responders?’”
For Jimenez, the future is bright.
“We’re very excited to be in the area, and I’ve been looking around and doing research as to where we should build our next location,” Jimenez said. “There’s a need for (Firehouse Subs) in the area, and I thought it would be a good idea to put a location here.”
Firehouse Subs’ Litchfield Park location is at 5122 N. Dysart Road, Suite 100. Its hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Third-party delivery and in-house catering will be offered for all special occasions. Any first responders who visit Firehouse Subs will receive a free 32-ounce drink with any purchase.