Hot on the heels of a third Jimmy John’s opening in Cedar Rapids, Milio’s Sandwiches said it plans to more than double its locations in the area.
Joe Sipich of Cedar Rapids recently signed an area development agreement to develop one Milio’s store in downtown Cedar Rapids, one in the area of Kirkwood Community College area in Cedar Rapids, and one in Marion.
Milio’s already has two locations in Cedar Rapids — at 3521 First Ave. SE and at 266 Blairs Ferry Road NE.
Sipich said he regards the local market as a competitive one in the sub sandwich sector of the restaurant industry but feels that “competition is good for the customer.”
Sipich said he’s looking to open the downtown Cedar Rapids location later this year in the vicinity of the new convention center/hotel complex along First Avenue East. Another Milio’s restaurant will follow in the Kirkwood Community College area.
Plans for the Marion restaurant, which will come third, are focusing on the area just east of Marion’s downtown, where some redevelopment is anticipated, Sipich said.
Originally from Chicago, Sipich has sent most of his career in management at the Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Eastern Iowa, playing a role in the integration of two other rental car companies that Enterprise acquired. He said he always wanted to own his own business and decided on Milio’s after meeting Mike Liautaud, who founded Milio’s in Madison, Wis., and remains its president.
Sipich said he expects strong competition from existing sub operations such as Sub City, Subway, Quizno’s and Jimmy John’s but believes Milio’s competes well on food quality. He said product quality, connecting with customers and connecting with the community will be key to making the expansion succeed.
Sipich would like to develop another dozen or more Milio’s locations in Iowa after his first three locations are operating successfully.
Jimmy John’s opened its third Cedar Rapids area location in downtown Cedar Rapids on Wednesday.