jimmyOn Jan. 13, the famed Jimmy John’s store known for delivering its sub sandwiches at the speed of light celebrated its opening 40 years ago in Charleston. The original owner, Jimmy John Liautaud, began the franchise as a hot dog stand originally. The Arlington Heights native quickly realized, however, that hot dogs were not selling well and had to turn to other options if he wanted to be successful and pay back his father for helping him out.

After some research into Chicago hot dog stands, Liautaud realized that it would be too expensive to continue that route and switched to sub sandwiches. His reasoning for picking sub sandwiches was the fact that he could get deli meat for cheap, as he was struggling to pay back his father for the loan he got from him to originally start the hot dog stand right after he graduated from high school. He felt he could easily turn a profit from having more options to provide to cater to more people. His next step would be perfecting his bread recipe, and from there he decided to venture out and start advertising his products.

After long, grueling hours and even handing out free sandwiches to dorm rooms at nearby colleges, Jimmy John's finally opened on Jan. 13, 1983. The original building was a two-car garage turned into pizza store that happened to fail so he got it for a fair price. Today, Jimmy John's is headquartered in Champaign-Urbana and has almost 3,000 locations across 43 states. After many freaky fast deliveries, Jimmy John’s continues to be another example of successful businesses flourishing from Illinois.