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DailyTidings.com
  • Erbert & Gerbert's thrives at Southern Oregon University

    Erbert & Gerbert's sandwich shop has had an outlet at Stevenson Union since 2012
  • The parade of fast-food and quick-cuisine chains coursing their way west across the plains, over the mountains and up or down Interstate 5 is seemingly endless.
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  • The parade of fast-food and quick-cuisine chains coursing their way west across the plains, over the mountains and up or down Interstate 5 is seemingly endless.
    Sooner or later, it seems, most of the regional or national food franchises find their way to the Rogue Valley.
    In the past year, we've seen Jake's Wayback Burgers, Chipotle and Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches among a plethora of new entries into the market.
    During the middle of 2012, another national player, Erbert & Gerbert's sandwich shop, showed up on the Southern Oregon University campus.
    Fanfare wasn't really in the cards for the Wisconsin-based sandwich-maker when it filled a space formerly occupied by Subway. In fact, it was a rocky beginning.
    "For about a week we got (student) complaints," said manager Dan Machen. "And then they realized Erbert & Gerbert's sandwiches were much better, and they definitely prefer them now."
    So much so, Machen said, that Erbert & Gerbert's has elbowed its way to the head of the class at Elmo's, a food court in the Stevenson Union featuring six other outlets — a coffee shop, a pizza place, along with ones focusing on Asian cuisine, hamburgers, vegan/vegetarian and Mexican food.
    "Erbert & Gerbert's sells as much as the rest of the other concepts combined," he said.
    The chain got its start in Eau Claire, Wis., in 1987 and has grown modestly to more than 70 shops, primarily in the upper Midwest, with outposts in Georgia, Texas and Colorado.
    Erbert & Gerbert's got a foothold in Ashland when Roseville, Minn.-based A'viands landed the food services contract at SOU.
    "It's a unique choice on college campuses," said Steve West, vice president of education and business at A'viands. "With their high-quality product and creative menu choices, it seems to be well-received."
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