Primo Hoagies, one of the newest attractions opened up on Oct. 31 at 330 Rowan Blvd. Many students and even some staff lined up at the door waiting to get some sandwiches. The store got so packed that some had to wait outside. The store was buzzing with people looking at what they were going to get.
Primo Hoagies officially opened its doors to the Rowan community at 9:45 a.m. To celebrate, General Manager Ross Wilkinson and Owner Jason Shervrin broke bread and cut the ceremonial ribbon.
Wilkinson started preparing for the grand opening with all the staff, made up primarily of Rowan students a day before.
“I think we have some really enthusiastic students here,” said Wilkinson. “Most of my employees are Rowan students, and I was really glad about that. I think everyone’s been really taken to it, ’cause right now we’re doing a lot of prepping and teaching at the same time.”
Wilkinson is a full-time employee for Primo Hoagies and has completed a three-week training program. He recalled some new things he learned along the way, like using a meat slicer.
“The training was great,” said Wilkinson. “That was definitely the first time I used it as a slicer.”
According to Wilkinson, Primo Hoagies bakes all of their bread fresh and cuts everything to order fresh as well. There are many options that customers can get, from hoagies, Philly cheesesteaks, chicken cult, building your own hoagie, and desserts to name a few. Primo Hoagies is known for its Diablo hoagies which contain a special blend of spices.
Wilkinson noted that from what he’s seen, the Rowan student population was excited about Primo Hoagies opening up. Students would even come in wondering if they were open already. Wilkinson also mentioned that the proximity of the store to campus was a lot closer than he initially expected.
“When the owner first introduced me to this place, he was like, yeah, it’s near Rowan University,” said Wilkinson. “I didn’t know what it was like, in Rowan. So when I first came down here, it was during the summer. Obviously, most of the kids are back at home, but once everyone started moving back, I was like, ‘holy crap I think we have a prime location here.’”
One of the goals of Primo Hoagies is to be a part of the Rowan community. Primo Hoagies is trying to offer some scholarship options for students and would like to get involved with the athletic department. They would also like to get involved in Greek life as well.
“We’re gonna be the bright, shiny, new toy on campus, and we hope that um, carries through, not even just the next couple months, but know through the years that we’re here and on Rowan’s campus,” said Wilkinson.
One of the challenges that Primo Hoagies had before opening up was hiring new employees for the business.
“So we kind of have to, you know, like, Hey Ross, this is my schedule, you know, let’s try to work around it,” said Wilkinson. “And hiring and just kind of getting open. I’ve never started my own business, but there’s a lot of hurdles there that you don’t really, think about right away until it hits you right in the face.”
Primo Hoagies had many promotions for their grand opening. For the first 100 customers, all hoagies are free. The first 100 that come in a costume enter a raffle to win a free hoagie a week for a year at any location. They will also be taking Rowan Bucks.
“That’s one of the ideas, we were bouncing around other ideas, but I was like, listen, it’s Halloween, let’s take advantage of it,” said Wilkinson.
So students came in their costumes to get their free sandwich. One of the students who waited in line with a skeleton mask on was Evan Cabrera, a biological science major who got a free pork Diablo hoagie and participated in the raffle.
“I love the pork hoagie and I thought it was way more spicier but it had a great taste and strong flavors. I just hope that I win the raffle,” said Cabrera.
After the day filled with customers, Wilkinson reflected on the day’s success.
“It went great. The employees were exceptional. We survived and thrived, our grand opening,” said Wilkinson.