While most people would have seen enough sub sandwiches for a lifetime in the first five days, Tim Trieb is nearly a month into a successful new restaurant venture at Juanita Village without skipping a beat.
Most days, you’ll find Trieb gloves-deep in lettuce — which is exactly where he feels like he belongs.
Trieb, 56, is the owner of the newly-minted Jersey Mike’s Subs restaurant, which staged a five-day fundraiser for Juanita High and Juanita Elementary as part of a grand opening celebration from Oct. 19-23.
The event was a wild success: Jersey Mike’s raised $3,600 and gave away almost 1,800 free subs.
The first Saturday, Oct. 22, Jersey Mike’s served nearly 700 sandwiches. Newly-trained staff handed out one sub every 55 seconds, for 11 hours straight.
“Nobody can prepare an 18-year-old kid for that kind of melee,” Trieb said with a laugh.
The Juanita store is the second location opened by Trieb in the last several months, with his first store in Everett. Trieb has a background in sales, and in his mid-50s, decided to do something else with the rest of his life.
He stopped at a favorite fried chicken joint in Woodinville — Trieb admits this is a guilty pleasure — and there was a Jersey Mike’s next door.
He tried the subs on a whim, and “I called my wife from the parking lot, and was like, ‘I figured it out,’” Trieb said.
The background story, that Jersey Mike’s was bought by a 17-year-old employee in 1974 who raised $150,000 while completing his senior year of high school, captivated Trieb.
The community focus and schools fundraiser are part of Jersey Mike’s signature, and Trieb said he plans to hold more fundraisers for other area schools in the next several months. Trieb lives in Bothell, his kids went to Inglemoor High and he lives just over a mile away from Juanita Village.
“The location came open earlier this year, and I couldn’t sign quick enough,” Trieb said. “There’s great visibility, access, parking, and there’s no competition — every restaurant is down there, but it’s Spud, Thai, Chinese, Mexican, and sushi, but no sandwich shops.”
Currently, the Juanita location is raising funds for Finn Hill Middle School and Kamiakin Middle School until Nov. 22.
If you come in, you’ll likely see Trieb behind the counter.
“I’d rather be in the store helping people and making sandwiches than on vacation, almost,” Trieb said. “I love it so much.”