A family affair in Peoria

Walters family reaches sandwich dream in West Valley

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Jeff Walters and his family were originally exposed to the Jimmy John’s brand in Michigan when a local franchise teamed up with the high school baseball team he coached to help raise funds for an upcoming season.

Mr. Walters was a fan of their sandwiches and impressed with their involvement in the community.

And to boot, his sons, Nick and Zack, worked for various Jimmy John’s franchises in Michigan and Washington  as they grew up through high school and college.

Over the years, owning a Jimmy John’s has been a goal the recently relocated Peoria resident has been shooting for.

Now the accomplishment of running a family business is a reality with two Glendale locations. On Aug. 7, 2019, the Walters family purchased two Jimmy John’s franchises located at 7708 W Bell Road, Suite 105 and 18589 N 59th Avenue, Suite 106.

“We always dreamed of running a business together as a family,” he said. “We looked at opportunities to open a franchise while we were in Washington state but it never panned out. However, that dream has finally come true.”

Each individual member of the Walters family contributes his or her unique talents to the business.

Mr. Walters said Nick is the hands-on person and helps with record keeping, overseeing both stores involved in day-to-day operations as the area manager.

Zack assists in the evenings and weekends because he has a full-time job, but contributes his knowledge of data analytics.

And Mr. Walter’s wife, Kelly, helps with customer service as well as catering.

“It seems like she is always at one of the stores helping cover shifts as well. I offer my ideas to the family and management to help grow the stores,” he said. “Collectively we make a great team.”

Now the tables are turned — Mr. Walters is working with the local community like he once did on the receiving end as a high school baseball coach in Michigan. The business has teamed up with Mountain Ridge High School girls’ golf team with a fundraising event. He said he looks forward to working with other groups in the community.

Living in Peoria for only four months, he said he instantly fell in love with the area. He added the past two months since opening the businesses have been both exciting and challenging.

No two days are ever the same, he said.

“You must be adaptable and ready to fill a big catering order that may be called in at a moment’s notice. My wife and sons have been instrumental at filling the gaps and ensuring that our focus of the customer first approach is being executed at the stores,” he said.

“We are starting to settle in and we are also reaching out to local schools and churches and want to be a pillar in the  community and assist in fundraising. It is one of Jimmy John’s mantras — to  reach out and be good stewards.”

Philip Haldiman can be reached at 623-876-3697, phaldiman@newszap.com, or on Twitter @philiphaldiman.

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