Two Franchises Help Revitalize Lakewood Strip Mall – Dunkin’ Donuts and Jimmy John’s Open

Posted on December 15, 2014 By

Two of Lakewood Township’s newest businesses held their grand openings recently – a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owned by Ram Hegde and his family, and a Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches franchise, the first in Ocean County, owned by Garrett and Courtney Hogan.

Steven Reinman, the director of economic development for Lakewood, said, “We are pleased to see more commercial development along the Rt. 70 corridor. These businesses will serve the local population and the many companies in our industrial parks, the second largest in New Jersey. We are happy to welcome these businesses to the community.”

“This is part of the efforts to boost business in Lakewood and it is part of the continuing goal to revitalize and rejuvenate existing commercial areas throughout the township,” said David Nicola, executive director of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held December 12 at both businesses, which are located next to each other in the strip mall Shore Plaza at 700 Route 70.

Throughout the day, customers stopped by for a free cup of medium coffee that Ram Hegde’s employees were serving up or for a snack-size portion of turkey, roast beef, or ham and cheese subs that Hogan was handing out.

Hogan, a Point Pleasant resident who grew up in Brick, said it took two years to go through the process of deciding to become a business owner and opening up a franchise. Robert B. Goodyear, chairman of the Ocean County Chapter of SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) and a member of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, said he assisted Hogan, who is a friend, through the process.

“We chose this location because we thought there was a need for a sandwich shop in the area that delivers to businesses in the Lakewood Industrial Park and to the senior communities. Plus, it gives us the opportunity to introduce a new brand,” said Hogan, who has 18 employees working in the sandwich shop, open 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. seven days a week.

Jimmy John’s offers catering, bakes its own bread, offers free delivery of all orders “so fast you’ll freak,” and purchases its produce locally. The Lakewood Jimmy John’s is the 10th shop to open in New Jersey, said Hogan, who has future plans to open additional locations in Ocean County. Thirty-one years ago, the chain was started by then 19-year-old Jimmy John Liautaud in a converted Illinois garage. It grew into a chain that has 2,000 locations in 43 states.

Meanwhile, this is the third Dunkin’ Donuts that Hegde, of Edison, has opened in Lakewood. Hegde and his family also own and operate two Dunkin Donuts in Brick, two in Jackson, and one in Howell. He said 12 to 15 employees will be working at the newest location, which has a drive-through lane.

“We have 150 employees working at all of our Dunkin’ Donuts stores in Ocean County, and we also have a kitchen in Lakewood to bake our products,” he said.

About the Lakewood Industrial Commission (LIC): For more information about opportunities for commercial business in Lakewood or the Lakewood Industrial Park, contact Executive Director Steven Reinman, 732-364-2500 Ext. 5333. Offices of the LIC are in the Lakewood Municipal Building, 231Third Street, Lakewood, N.J. 08701

About the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce: The Lakewood Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary nonprofit organization made up of New Jersey businesses and professionals who are working together to build a healthy economy and improve life in the community. The Lakewood Chamber has been active since 1917. For more information about the chamber, call 732-363-0012 or visit their Facebook page at, or their website at

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