Contributed photo: (left to right) Robert Vaughan and Jason Edgar in front of custom mural at Firehouse Subs Bolton.
Earlier this week I spoke with Jason Edgar, the congenial and enthusiastic franchisee of not one, but two, Firehouse Subs locations. Lucky for the locals his newest location is on George Bolton Parkway in Bolton’s south end.
Coming from an unlikely starting point of a 20-year career in the forklift industry Jason has made the transition to restauranteur just fine.
“I did have a job in my teens working at a popular sub shop” he admits. “Looking back even then I really enjoyed working with people, serving food, and realized I might like to do something like that later in life.”
“During my career I always seemed to be the one hosting the summer BBQs, arranging the lunches, and so on” he continued. “One day I walked into the Firehouse Subs in Concorde and it was great, of course, and I thought this is it, I have to get involved in this.”
And he did just that. He reached out to a co-worker, Robert Vaughan, to ask if he’d like to go 50/50 as a silent partner and the answer was affirmative. The rest as they say is history.
Their first franchise, in Orangeville, opened in 2019 and thrived, even through the pandemic, since it was easy to pivot to take-out. So the idea to open a second location was not far behind.
Jason says he is excited to be able to open a location in Bolton “bringing job opportunities to the local community in addition to benefitting local heroes.” He says the hiring process started off a bit slow with only 15 to 16 hired on by end of December but immediately after the New Year it picked up and he was able to recruit 10 to 12 more. Most employees have come from either Bolton or Brampton.
The Firehouse Subs brand is committed to giving back to first responders through the non-profit Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. Jason says the Orangeville location has already given a $23,000 grant to the Orangeville Fire Service.
I inquire how the funds are raised.
“There are 3 ways” Jason explains. “The first is the proceeds of the sale of our used (and cleaned) Kosher Dill Pickle buckets. They sell fast and people even ask for them in advance. They sell for $3. The second is by Rounding-up. We always ask if people would like to round up the cost of their order. The third is simply by the loose change placed in the canister at the front.”
Now about the food….The subs are “substantial” says Jason who tells us that an 8” medium has a ¼ pound of meat and a 12” large has a ½ pound of meat. You’ll also find chili on the menu. There are lighter options like a ½ medium sub with soup or salad. And there are vegan options. “Something for everyone” says Jason.
While you are there take a good look at the custom mural. Each Firehouse Subs has a unique one, commissioned and hand-painted by their Chief Mural Officer, Joe Puskas. This one definitely has close ties to the community. The location is at North Hill Park beside the Caledon Centre for Recreation and Wellness and a Caledon fire truck is a prominent feature in the scene. Two Caledon firefighters are kicking a soccer ball around with Jason’s own two children. In the sky above the clouds on the left depict a firefighters emblem with two crossed axes and the clouds on the right form a “B” for Bolton. A hawk, symbolizing the Caledon hockey team, flies through the scene.
So the next time you have a fire in your belly for a flavourful meal drop in to Firehouse Subs at 8885 George Bolton Parkway. It openedits doors on January 19th is open from 11 AM to 9 PM every day.
About Firehouse Subs
Firehouse Subs was founded in 1994 by two brothers who were former firefighters. In 2015 it expanded into Canada and there are now over 50 locations in Canada. Over $2 million has been donated to public safety organizations in Canada via Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation of Canada.