Little King Celebrates 50 Years
Little King – Deli & Subs (littlekingsubs.com) can officially say its been around for half a century. Bob Wertheim remembers how his dad, Sid Wertheim, started Little King with one store in Omaha in 1969 and then watched as the chain grew to over 100 locations across the United States. The journey to 50 years wasn’t always easy, though. In the late 90s, Sid sold the company and within one year Little King filed for bankruptcy.
Sid bought the company back in 1993 then merged into Jreck Subs Group. Under the ownership of Jreck, Little King continued to give its customers that authentic deli taste its known for, but stores everywhere continued to struggle. Two years after Jreck bought the company, the Wertheims decided to buy back their shares in hopes of turning things around for the restaurant. There were 25 Little King stores at the time and the Wertheim’s goal was to sell off the corporate stores and be a franchise company, and that is exactly what they did.
In 2001, Sid Wertheim retired and Bob Wertheim took over running the company. Bob is committed to strengthening the Little King name and growing its regional foot print again. In 2012, Nikhil Mehta and Jose Partida bought into Little King and together with Bob they did a rebrand and enhanced its marketing efforts. The campaign earned an ADDY Award, the highest recognition in the advertising industry.
Currently, there are eight Little King stores—five in Omaha, two in Lincoln, and one new store in Grand Island—and five franchise owners. Today Bob and Nikhil are excited about bringing new franchise owners into the fold and opening up more stores in communities where Little King used to thrive, like Hastings and North Platte. To celebrate 50 years, last month each store offered daily specials and hosted a three-foot sandwich eating contest!
Little King boasts the best New York deli-style submarine sandwiches in the Midwest. Even after 50 years, people all over town still love the delicious taste of bread that’s baked on-site, quality meats, and cheeses sliced right when you order, and soups that are second-in-line to none. When it comes to freshness, flavor, and friendliness, folks know that Little King is the place. “Fresh Rules Here.” To check out the menu and learn about catering options, go to littlekingsubs.com. For questions about franchising, contact Bob Wertheim at (402) 510-8093.