Mr. Pickle’s sandwiches comes to Chandler

Mr. Pickles CEO Mike Nelson purchased the brand in 2020 after being a long-time customer of the eatery. (Special to SanTan Sun News)

Growing up in Downey, California — the birthplace of the Apollo space program — Michael Nelson learned to shoot for the stars.

He’s sticking with that mantra by making Chandler the site of his fourth Valley Mr. Pickle's Sandwich Shop.

Nelson — the chain’s owner and chief operating officer — said, “The brand is unique in that it doesn’t turn to big-box vendors for its ingredients, instead partnering with artisan bakers, regional farms and ranches to source its products, making every item unique to us.

“You will not see 6-inch and footlong options from us. We’ll have more specialty breads than uniform options.”

The restaurant, located at 1949 W. Ray Road, near Dobson Road, is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“Since 1995, Mr. Pickle’s has been a premier sandwich shop specializing in innovative and crave-worthy sandwiches, salads and catering,” said Nelson, a long-time customer who purchased the brand in 2020 when founders/owners Frank and Michele Fagundes decided to retire.

“During its first three decades, thanks to its community culture, incredible recipes, and all its fans, the brand grew from one to 56 locations across northern California,” he noted.

“We have had a wonderful welcome to Arizona and look forward to building this brand across the state, as well as helping grow it nationwide in the years to come,” he added.

The Chandler location will feature all of Mr. Pickle’s most popular hot and cold sandwiches, notably the Mr. Pickle, which is chicken breast, bacon, Monterey jack, avocado and the works as it relates to veggies; the Santa Maria Tri-Tip, which is actual tri-tip sourced from the famed Santa Maria region topped with specialty barbeque sauce and the works; and Big Jake, a turkey sandwich with cream cheese, avocado and the works. The brand now also has two new sandwiches of note.

“The first is Listen Linda, which is named after my wife of 36 years and is piled high with turkey breast, avocado, bacon, swiss cheese and the works – including our specialty garlic sauce – as far as condiments unless otherwise noted,” said Nelson.

The other is Della’s Deli, “which honors my business partner, best friend, and Mr. Pickle’s president Dean Johnson’s wife of more than 40 years, Della. It features turkey breast, ham, salami, cheddar, and the works.”

There are 10 types of bread and wraps from which to choose at Mr. Pickle’s, including the Dutch crunch roll, sourdough roll, sweet roll, wheat roll, sliced sourdough, sliced wheat, sliced marble rye, and various wraps, including gluten-free wraps.

In addition to a wide selection of chips, sides include red potato salad, macaroni salad, jumbo whole dill pickles (of course!), and fresh baked chocolate chunk cookies. A cookie is also given free with every sandwich, salad, or wrap.

“For those who do not know the brand yet, every order automatically comes with one of our melt-in-your-mouth cookies, a hallmark of the brand since its inception,” says Nelson, adding there is also apple sauce available as a side in kid’s menus as well.

A leader in online ordering technology, Mr. Pickle’s partners with DoorDash and invested in Paytronix Systems, Inc., the most advanced digital guest experience platform, in the past year.

Through the partnership Mr. Pickle’s uses the full Paytronix Platform for its loyalty, order, delivery, mobile and gift system.

“We partner with as many artisan bakers, regional farms and ranches that we can when sourcing our products, making every item unique to us,” said Nelson, who spent the past year investing in technology that will “propel the brand forward nationwide.”

Nelson – a veteran of the restaurant business with more than 30 years of experience as an owner and operator of Wingstop, Subway Restaurants, and Carl’s Jr. franchises nationwide – will open a handful of Mr. Pickle’s locations across the Valley over the next 18 months, including Queen Creek. The brand also continues its expansion in California, with up to 20 new locations being planned over the next seven years.


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