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Jersey Mike’s Owner To Point Boro Students: 'Giving' Is The Way To Go

From the Point Pleasant Boro School District:

Jersey Mike’s owner and CEO Peter Cancro met with a group of Point Pleasant Boro High School students to share the story of Jersey Mike’s history and to discuss his favorite topic – giving.

Approximately 100 students in grades nine through 12, enrolled in Point Pleasant Boro High School’s Accounting and Entrepreneurship classes, traveled to Manasquan’s Atlantic Club on Wednesday, Feb. 5, for a special class trip coordinated by the school’s Business teachers Dave Johnson, Dave Fisher and Gene Sible.

Point Pleasant is the hometown of the Jersey Mike’s owner, where he turned one small sub shop into a national success story.

Cancro opened the presentation by encouraging his audience to pursue their passions in life and in their future careers before explaining his trajectory from employee to owner of Mike’s subs while still a teenager.

He shared the company’s current statistics and impressive financial figures and also provided a glimpse into Jersey Mike’s future plans before discussing the corporate philosophy he has cultivated.

He talked of the inspiration he gleaned from local business legends, like Bob Hoffman, of Hoffman’s Ice Cream, and Jack Baker, founder of the Lobster Shanty and Wharfside restaurants, who he says “gave unconditionally,” helping shape the culture of giving that Jersey Mike’s has established today.

Even marketing efforts are structured around giving, which Cancro demonstrated to the students, showing them a number of Jersey Mike’s video segments and commercial spots, all of which were dedicated to a specific charity or cause.

In fact, the entire month of March is dedicated to giving, when all Jersey Mike’s franchise locations donate a percentage of sales to a designated charity. Also taking place in March, is Jersey Mike’s Day of Giving, a day when all sales are donated to charity. Last year, the company raised $1.7 million for the organization Wreaths Across America, an organization that donates wreaths for every grave at Arlington National Cemetery.

The year before, the company exceeded the $1 million fundraising goal in support of the Susan G. Komen foundation, raising $1.3 million in just three months. This year, the company hopes to raise $2.5 million! And this is just on a national level – individual franchises also participate in autonomous charitable efforts, all of which reflect back upon a company that has devoted itself to corporate stewardship and making a positive difference in the lives of many.

“Every store grand opening is tied to a local charity, with a portion of all proceeds from that store being donated to the local charity,” he told the students. “That is the most rewarding aspect of what I do.”

Before engaging in a quick Q&A with the audience, Cancro issued the students a challenge, and encouraged them to get involved with something, asking them to reflect on what matters most in their lives and what they can do to affect positive change. He also encouraged persistence among the audience members, joking about his own, “overnight success that only took 39 years to achieve.”

Superintendent of Point Pleasant Boro Schools Vincent S. Smith, who attended the presentation, commended Cancro’s philanthropy, saying, “We appreciate your message and are inspired by the generosity demonstrated by yourself and the greater Jersey Mike’s corporation.

“Having been a benefactor of Jersey Mike’s philanthropy, on more than one occasion, our district has firsthand knowledge of the importance of this stewardship and we aspire to cultivate the same altruistic spirit here in Point Pleasant Borough Schools. It is thanks to Mr. Cancro and Jersey Mike’s that our district has been able to invest in programs that will help engender further generations’ participation in philanthropic efforts, affecting positive change in our community and the world.”

Cancro’s success story began when he was just 14 years old when he took his first job at the then Mike’s Subs in 1971. Just four years later at the age of 17, Cancro purchased the shop, which he rebranded Jersey Mike’s in 1987, when he launched his franchising business, thus began Jersey Mike’s journey into a multi-million dollar conglomerate of franchises with more that 750 locations in 34 states and plans to open more than 850 additional locations in the next four years.

It’s an amazing story of success, the magnitude of which is matched only by the depth of Cancro’s magnanimity, as one might expect from a company whose corporate slogan is “Giving, making a difference in someone’s life.” It’s a philosophy that has been with the company since its inception and continues to grow throughout its incredible success. It’s a philosophy that is driven from the top down and cultivated by Cancro. 

To find out more about the Point Pleasant School District, visit the district website at www.pointpleasant.k12.nj.us.

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