Face of Lunch
Cousins Subs (Left to right) J.J. Grube, Joe Ferguson, Christine Specht, Justin McCoy, Jason Westhoff; Photo by Boutique Photographer Linda Smallpage; Instagram: @boutiquephotographer | Facebook: Boutique Photographer | Linkedin: Linda Smallpage
The idea for Cousins Subs first came to Bill Specht when he moved from the East Coast to Milwaukee in the late 1960s, and couldn’t find a sub shop in town that lived up to those back East. He approached his cousin Jim Sheppard about opening a sub shop, and the rest is history. Specht and Sheppard opened the first Cousins Subs at the corner of 60th Street and Silver Spring Drive in Milwaukee on June 19, 1972.
Today, Cousins Subs remains rooted as a Wisconsin-based company and is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The company’s Make It Better Foundation offers grants, product donations and scholarships to Wisconsin high school students every year. The brand has also partnered with many other prominent Wisconsin-based businesses and organizations including the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, Green Bay Packers, Johnsonville, Milwaukee Bucks, Sprecher Brewing and UW Athletics, to name a few.
“At the end of the day, our work is simple; we make and sell sub sandwiches. But that simple task is what provides us the platform and opportunity to continually improve the communities around us, while also improving the lives of our employees and guests,” says Christine Specht, CEO at Cousins Subs and daughter of founder Bill Specht. “Here at Cousins Subs, we firmly believe in our mission: We believe in better through the continual improvement in everything we do. We believe our guests deserve a better product, served in a better environment and by dedicated team members who genuinely care.”
This year, Cousins Subs opened three new Wisconsin locations and has another slated for later this year in Stevens Point. In the coming years, the brand plans to continue to grow its Wisconsin footprint both through corporate development and franchising with a focus on the central and western areas of the state.