Jimmy John’s, located at 125 N. Kentucky Ave. is locally owned by Doug Law. Doug is extremely personable and cares deeply about his business, his employees, and his customers. He’s a veteran, a former firefighter, and a family man. His wife and kids often help him at his business. Unfortunately, franchise owners often get overlooked by the community when there’s a movement to eat locally, but our Downtown Jimmy John’s is definitely locally owned and operated. Stop by Jimmy John’s, try one of their delicious subs, and say hello to Doug!
How long has your business been open? Did you own/manage other businesses before this one?
Under my ownership since December 2017, but has been around almost 10 years in downtown.
If your business is relatively new (5 years or less), what inspired you to open your business? Is there something about your personal background or history that made you uniquely suited to open your business?
My brother and I were seeking new opportunities
If your business is family-owned or operated, can you tell us what that’s like? What roles do your family members fill in your business?
I run the day to day operations and my brother is a silent partner. My son Jared works as a delivery driver for me, and my daughter runs the cash register when not doing school work. It is not uncommon to see my wife jump on register or wipe down tables when it is crazy busy downtown.
Why did you decide to open your business in Downtown Lakeland? Do you have a special connection to the area? To Lakeland in general?
As much as my family and I love Lakeland, we moved here from the Charleston , SC area because we wanted to be local owners supporting local people. We did not want to be the type that just drive in for a couple days and then take off. We want to love the community as much as they love us.
What’s your favorite item, product, or service that you offer, and why?
For the sandwich it would be the Italian Night Club. The oil/vinegar mix puts it over the top. I also like to indulge in our Triple Chocolate Chunk cookies, which has 3 types of Godiva chocolate chips in them.
When you think about your business, what makes you feel the most proud? What challenges or difficulties have you had to overcome in your personal life or in your business to get to where you are today?
The fact that I have made this business more known and personable with Lakeland. They see me or my truck and people know. I have not had a ton of challenges other than personal ones. I was a public servant for 27 years. I spent 8 years in an active war zone in Iraq and Afghanistan, so as you can imagine, I have struggles.
What changes have you made to your business or how did you have to adjust your business during this pandemic?
We have made every effort to accommodate the needs of our customers. We moved everything to the back and closed off the lobby. This way no one touched anything except employees who had clean hands or gloves on.
What is the most important thing for the community to know about your business right now? What’s the best way they can support you?
We are all struggling. Just because I bought into a franchise, doesn’t mean I don’t have bills or employees who depend on a check from ME. Corporate is still collecting their money as well. I ask you to keep supporting all restaurants and retailers. Play BINGO and it helps us all.
Address and Phone: 125 N. Kentucky Ave., 863-688-3118