Josh Wheeler wanted to bring something unique to Minot, and he found a restaurant franchise that allowed him to do just that.
Wheeler, along with his wife, Breanna, and brother Kyle Wheeler, are the owners of Spicy Pickle Sandwich Company, a restaurant that up until now had no presence in Minot. Located at 1720 S. Broadway, Spicy Pickle is right next to Qdoba, which recently opened. The phone number of Spicy Pickle is 858-1771. It will open for business Tuesday.
"We serve a variety of sandwiches in five different types of bread. All of our meats are MSG- (monosodium glutamate) free, they don't contain any fillers. We have nine different meats and seven different cheeses," Wheeler said. "And another staple of Spicy Pickle is the flavored mayo. We have four different flavors of mayo - a basil mayo, sundried tomato mayo, chipotle mayo and horseradish mayo. And they're all based with extra virgin olive oil mayo, so it makes it a healthier option."
All those fixings can be used to make a sandwich or panini with a number of different breads.
One of the company's better known sandwiches is the Santa Cruz, which features roasted turkey, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, corn relish, cheddar and chipotle mayo. The panini menu features the popular Bandido, which has roasted turkey, roasted red peppers, sundried tomatoes, pepperjack and chipotle mayo.
Although it might be a sandwich company, there's a lot more on the menu than that at Spicy Pickle. There are also spinach wraps and jalapeno cheddar wraps, flatbread pizzas, soups and salads.
"It's a menu that's got a lot of variety and a lot of different options," Wheeler said. "I think it will appeal to the masses."
Spicy Pickle is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. In addition to the regular lunch fare, Wheeler said they will also be serving breakfast items in the mornings from 7 to 10 a.m., seven days a week.
"We have six different types of breakfast sandwiches, some served on flat bread, and some served on white ciabotta," Wheeler said. "We have bagels, muffins, cinnamon rolls and drip coffee."
The booming economy in this area of North Dakota has led to more than a few new business openings in Minot, many of them restaurants. Wheeler was born and raised in Minot, and had been looking for a franchise concept that wasn't already in the Magic City to improve the dining scene. He stumbled upon Spicy Pickle after much research and said the franchise really jumped out at him.
This will not only be the first Spicy Pickle in North Dakota, it will be the first one in the upper Midwest. Wheeler said the closest stores to Minot up to this point were in Colorado, where the franchise was founded. The Spicy Pickle Web site did note a new restaurant is being built in Billings, Mont., however, so the company seems to be expanding into this region more and more.
So far things have been going pretty smoothly. Construction was cruising right along for the Tuesday opening, and while hiring is going well, Wheeler said they still have openings for all positions. Anyone interested can stop by the store to apply.
"Everything's been going well," Wheeler said. "There's been a few glitches here and there, but everything's worked out."
Spicy Pickle's name certainly is memorable, and Wheeler said it comes from the spicy pickle spear served with every sandwich. The pickle is made using Spicy Pickle's own trademarked recipe, so the taste is something a new customer will not have experienced before.
"Buy a sandwich, you get a spicy pickle," Wheeler said.
In addition to dining in, Spicy Pickle also has a catering program with a special menu that delivers for large group orders.
Wheeler said people love sandwiches and will also love the large variety of items Spicy Pickle offers. He said the healthy way those sandwiches are made, however, also sets Spicy Pickle apart from the competition, and should help bring in customers looking for healthy choices that also taste great.
"The biggest thing is the sandwich concepts are great and people love sandwiches. But then the thing is the holistic concept with using no preservatives. The bread has no preservatives, the meat is MSG-free and uses no fillers," Wheeler said. "So you're getting real meat, you're getting high-quality bread, and it's a delicious flavor profile that's unmatched."