Two years ago, Michael Nelson purchased the “beloved and craveworthy” sandwich brand Mr. Pickle’s from founders and longtime owners Frank and Michele Fagundes, becoming its CEO in the process. Since then, Nelson has moved the company’s headquarters to Scottsdale, and worked to “[bring] the business into the digital age and [invest] in technology that will propel the brand forward nationwide,” beginning with six new locations peppered across the Valley through next year.
Those new outposts include two in Scottsdale – one at 14696 N Frank Loyd Wright Blvd. and the other at 10701 N Scottsdale Rd. – as well as 1949 W Ray Rd. in Chandler, 5885 W Baseline Rd. in Laveen, 13732 W Bell Rd. in Surprise, and the last, coming late 2023, at the NW corner of Genteel Rd. and Combs Rd. in Queen Creek.
In a statement provided to What Now Phoenix, Nelson explained, “Since 1995, Mr. Pickle’s has been a premier full service-sandwich shop specializing in innovative sandwiches, salads, and catering. During its first three decades, thanks to its company culture, incredible recipes, and all its fans, the brand grew from one to 56 locations across northern California,” adding, “We look forward to growing nationwide, perhaps even beyond.”
With Scottsdale now serving as the hub of operations, its two upcoming restaurants will act as ground zero for training key team members and new franchisees, the first of which is Hungry Hospitality, a San Jose, CA-based restaurant management firm that plans to open 15 to 20 locations in Los Angeles and Fresno/Bakersfield over the next seven years.
And while Nelson might bring franchisees to the Arizona market “down the line as the brand grows, that is yet to be determined,” according to a company spokesperson.
For now, Nelson is simply on a mission “to show the world that the brand can be a very big dill.”