By The Telegram

Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwich Shop, 501 E. Kansas Ave., is expected to open in the next two weeks.

It will employ about 25 people and hours will be from approximately 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Katharine Perry of Olson Public Relations in Chicago said in an email that Jimmy John's does not provide specific information until a store has opened. She said the shop would open in spring of this year.

The nationwide sub shop chain is based in Champaign, Ill. It was founded in 1983 by Jimmy John Liautaud in Charleston, Ill.

Since it started, the company has grown to more than 1,500 corporate and franchised locations in 42 states nationwide, according to information provided by Perry.

At the age of 19, with a $25,000 loan from his father, Liautaud started Jimmy John's.

Although young, Liautaud knew if he "kept it simple, he would have his best chance at success."

He bought used equipment including a refrigerator,¬ freezer, oven and a meat slicer. His sodas were 25 cents with no ice because he couldn't afford an ice maker. To promote his first sandwich shop, Liautaud went directly to potential customers, personally passing out hundreds of sandwich samples on the streets, in college bars, laundromats and dorms.¬ ¬