Cousins Subs

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Cousins Submarines
Industry Restaurants
Founded 1972 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Headquarters Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
Key people
Bill Specht,
Christine Specht-Palmert,
Products Sandwiches
Other food products

Cousins Submarines,[1] better known as Cousins Subs, is a U.S. sub sandwich chain founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Cousins Subs is a regional chain with restaurants in the Midwest. While the majority of franchises are in Wisconsin, locations can also be found in Arizona and Minnesota.

Overview & history[edit]

Founded by two cousins from Jersey City, New Jersey, Bill Specht moved to Milwaukee in the later 1960s. After arriving, Specht was unable to find his favorite childhood sandwiches, and was prepared to learn to live without them.

The first Cousins Subs location in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - 60th & Silver Spring Drive.

In the 1970s, Specht was unhappy with his then-current job, and decided to start a business making his childhood sandwiches. With James Sheppard, a cousin, they opened the first location on 19 June 1972, hence the name "Cousins". Specht and Sheppard opened their first restaurant in Milwaukee—located at 60th Street and Silver Spring Drive.[2] After opening the shop, they partnered with a local baker to make their own bread, highlighted in the slogan "Better Bread, Better Subs".

Current history[edit]

Until 1985, all Cousins Subs locations were company-owned & operated. The chain continued to open company-owned stores until 2004. In October of the same year, Cousins announced that it would be selling 25 of their 40 company-owned stores to franchisees in order to adopt a more traditional franchise growth model. The locations in Arizona, Minnesota, and Florida soon followed,[citation needed] and as of June 2014, there are 124 locations.[citation needed]

James Sheppard died 2 July 2007 due to long term surgery and health problems.


In addition to sandwiches, Cousins also sells cookies, potato chips, soups, French fries, and peanut butter-flavored Rice Krispies Treats. At some Wisconsin locations they also offer cheese curds. Also, there are different types of bread available, including multi-grain and other cheese-flavors.

See also[edit]


  1. ^[dead link]
  2. ^ Rabideau, Amy (2007-08-03). "James F. Sheppard - Sheppard co-founded Cousins Subs shops". Retrieved 2013-03-03.