Mr. Pickle’s Sandwich Shop Opens First Location in Surprise
By Justin Liggin -
Wednesday Mar 22, 2023
Mr. Pickle’s Sandwich Shop, a beloved mom-and-pop family of quick-service restaurants in northern California, has officially opened its newest location in Surprise. The restaurant, located at 13732 West Bell Road inside Surprise Towne Center and Marketplace, is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“Since 1995, Mr. Pickle’s has been a premier sandwich shop specializing in innovative and craveworthy sandwiches, salads and catering,” says Mike Nelson, chief executive officer, Valley resident, and long-time customer who purchased the brand in 2020 when founders/owners Frank and Michele Fagundes decided to retire. “During its first three decades, thanks to its community culture, incredible recipes, and all its fans, the brand grew from one to 56 locations across northern California.”
Mr. Pickle’s new location is the brand’s first shop in Surprise and third in Arizona, with the previous two shops opening in Scottsdale earlier in 2023.
“We have had a wonderful welcome to Arizona and look forward to building this brand across the state, as well as helping grow it nationwide in the years to come,” says Nelson.
The location will feature all of Mr. Pickle’s most popular hot and cold sandwiches, notably the Mr. Pickle, which is chicken breast, bacon, Monterey jack, avocado and the works as it relates to veggies; the Santa Maria Tri-Tip, which is actual tri-tip sourced from the famed Santa Maria region topped with specialty barbeque sauce and the works; and Big Jake, a turkey sandwich with cream cheese, avocado and the works. The brand now also has two new sandwiches of note.
“The first is Listen Linda, which is named after my wife of 36 years and is piled high with turkey breast, avocado, bacon, swiss cheese and the works – including our specialty garlic sauce – as far as condiments unless otherwise noted,” says Nelson. “And the second? That would be Della’s Deli, which honors my business partner, best friend, and Mr. Pickle’s president Dean Johnson’s wife of more than 40 years, Della. It features turkey breast, ham, salami, cheddar, and the works.”
There are 10 types of bread and wraps from which to choose at Mr. Pickle’s, including the Dutch crunch roll, sourdough roll, sweet roll, wheat roll, sliced sourdough, sliced wheat, sliced marble rye, and various wraps, including gluten-free wraps. In addition to a wide selection of chips, sides include red potato salad, macaroni salad, jumbo whole dill pickles (of course!), and fresh baked chocolate chunk cookies. A cookie is also given FREE with every sandwich, salad, or wrap.
“For those who do not know the brand yet, every order automatically comes with one of our melt-in-your-mouth cookies, a hallmark of the brand since its incepetion,” says Nelson, adding there is also apple sauce available as a side in kid’s menus as well.
In addition to carrying its full menu and adding new recipes that fit the market, Mr. Pickle’s will continue to its close-knit relationships with vendors as it grows, notably Frito-Lay, Dirty Chip, Pepsi, Foster Farms, Max’s Artisan Breads, Best Foods, and Hidden Valley. A leader in online ordering technology, Mr. Pickle’s partners with DoorDash and invested in Paytronix Systems, Inc., the most advanced digital guest experience platform, in the past year. Through the partnership Mr. Pickle’s uses the full Paytronix Platform for its loyalty, order, delivery, mobile and gift system.
“We partner with as many artisan bakers, regional farms and ranches that we can when sourcing our products, making every item unique to us,” says Nelson, who spent the past year bringing the business into the digital age and investing in technology that will propel the brand forward nationwide. “You will not see six-inch and footlong sizing from us, more specialty breads than uniform options.”
With Nelson’s purchase of the brand, he moved its national headquarters to Arizona in 2022, opening an office at 9332 Raintree in Scottsdale. Its franchisee support center is located in California.
In addition to launching the Scottsdale headquarters and opening the first Arizona location, Nelson – a veteran of the restaurant business with more than 30 years of experience as an owner and operator of Wingstop, Subway Restaurants, and Carl’s Jr. franchises nationwide – will open a handful of Mr. Pickles locations across the Valley over the next 18 months including restaurants in Chandler, Laveen and Queen Creek. The brand also continues its expansion in California, with up to 20 new locations being planned over the next seven years.
“We only have one goal with this brand: for guests to “Enjoy Every Sandwich,” says Nelson.