Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Firehouse Subs To The Rescue & Tasty Too!

A few Sundays ago, I was home minding my business and in the middle of watching Season 2 of Downton Abbey. All of a sudden I heard sirens. Then I saw fire trucks outside my window.

I went outside, took some pictures of course, and saw that my street was blocked off by a police car and the firefighters were taking out the hose and going into the house across the street. There was faint smell of smoke in the air, but I didn't see any fire. I hoped that there wasn't a real fire and thought about how just a breeze blowing some embers could cause a whole neighborhood to go up in flames.

Luckily, nothing serious appeared to have happened, but it really made me think about how when it comes down to it, if there is a fire, we can all feel pretty helpless and hope that firefighters can literally save our homes and our lives if necessary. The raging fires in Colorado make me think about this even more.

Needless to say, I have a lot of respect for firefighters and all first responders in general. So when I learned about Firehouse Subs, I was intrigued that their subs are made using a steam method and that the company was founded by two former firefighter brothers, Robin and Chris Sorensen.

In early May, I had the opportunity along with several other Boston area bloggers, to have dinner at the Copley Square Firehouse Subs and meet Robin Sorensen.

This location was one of the restaurants that was damaged in the Marathon bombings, so the dinner was also to celebrate the re-opening of the store and the revitalization of Copley Square. If you look out the window in the picture below, you can see Trinity Church in the background.

Let me set the scene. Robin Sorensen is a very big guy. Towering over most of us, with a booming voice, big personality, friendly, full of gusto for life and a love of quality food, he is a down to earth genuine person who truly cares about others. He was holding the door wide open and greeted me with a firm handshake and a warm greeting. In the picture above, Sorensen is holding a pickle bucket and to his left is Dave Tucci, Firehouse Subs Area Representative.

As he spoke about the founding of the company and how it has grown over the years, I couldn't help but think about the show Undercover Boss. Have you seen it? It's one of my favorite shows. While I was thinking this, another blogger asked him if he ever considered being on the show.

He said that it actually had been something he considered, but everyone who works for the company knows who he is and he could never get away with going undercover. He'd be found out immediately! Firehouse Subs has more than 625 locations in 35 states plus Puerto Rico and they are still expanding, but his employees all know him.

Some people have the kind of presence that everyone automatically recognizes and Sorensen definitely has it. He said that a television show might be in the future for him though, so don't be shocked if you see him in some sort of reality show. Also, before I forget to put it in here, you can get a free sub on your birthday at any Firehouse Subs location.
The decor of the restaurant takes its cue from a firehouse of course, filled with firehouse red and Dalmatian black and white. Each restaurant has an original hand-painted mural done by Joe "Art Brush" Puskas. I even found a Pinterest Board with all the different Firehouse Subs murals!

The food was delicious! We tried many different types of subs. I was so full and was able to bring my leftovers home. Of course I did manage to eat the cookie though. They were warm and fresh from the oven. Who could say no?! It was lemon chip. So good!
The portions are huge and Firehouse Subs makes a point of using the best quality ingredients they can find. They inspect the premises of a supplier before they order from them and are always making sure they are using the best. They also make their own special Datil Pepper hot sauce. You can buy it, along with many other items in the restaurants or online. It comes in a regular container or the cute glass fire hydrant bottle. I love fire hydrants, so I was happy that I got to take one home!

Needless to say I was impressed with Firehouse Subs. I love the food, the story and the people behind the food and their dedication to service. Not only is customer service a huge thing for them, but service in the sense of giving back to the community is a priority.

In 2005, Firehouse Subs started a non-profit foundation, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. They provide funding, life-saving equipment, disaster assistance and educational opportunities for first responders and public safety organizations.

Not only does the foundation give out millions of dollars, but Sorensen himself goes to disaster areas to help and bring much needed assistance like food and equipment. He went to Haiti after the earthquake and to Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. Hearing that really blew me away. It's one thing to give money. That's generous in itself. But to put yourself in harms way is another whole level. But then again, he's a former firefighter. That's what he does.

So after hearing all that, I wondered and asked Sorensen, why did he want to meet with us bloggers? We were a very small group and he already has a ton of major publicity. Why us?

It comes down to his passion for his business. He loves it and believes in its mission and purpose. He wants people to know about it and is genuinely happy to speak with anyone. From the time that I spent with him and our small group, I can tell you that's true.

+ + + + +
Disclosure: Dinner was complimentary and I received assorted items including $50.00 in Firehouse Subs gift cards. The gift cards were given away for my All Aboard The Arc Giveaway. Thank you Firehouse Subs!

Anali's First Amendment © 2006-2013. All rights reserved.
This Post’s Link
Subscribe to blog posts. Follow me on Twitter.
Join me on Facebook.
Shopping on Amazon today? If so, please consider starting here and help support this blog.

Share/Bookmark Print this post


Chris O said...

Great post about a great guy with a great idea! Never heard of them but will be looking for one in our area. Your sub photo looked so yummy. You're right it's easy to give money and it does my heart good to hear about people like Sorenson. It also gives me hope for the human race as a whole especially when you see all the unrest and chaos going on in the world today. Thanks for a great post Anali

Lisa Johnson said...

chris - Thank you! Hopefully you can find one close by. It's also nice to know that while you're purchasing some good food, you can do something good as well by helping to fund their nonprofit. It's a feel good experience all around!

Disclaimer: Nothing stated on Anali's First Amendment should be construed as legal advice. No attorney client relationships have been formed on this blog. © 2006-2016. Anali's First Amendment/Lisa C. Johnson. All rights reserved. Do not use writing or photographs without permission.