The people who work at Poor Boy, 950 Route 33, Hamilton, feel anything but poor.
Instead, they feel rich in spirit and they want their customers to feel the same, said Jim Jones, the store’s owner.
“When we ask a customer ‘How are you doing?’ we mean it,” said the Hamilton resident.
“We’re very friendly with people,” added Nina Steepy, of Hamilton, who has worked at the shop for more than 10 years.
Jones, of Hamilton, has worked for almost 19 years at building a reputation and loyal customer base. It’s been an ambition since quitting his job as an electrician repairing dialysis equipment.
Married to wife Mary Jean, with a baby on the way, back in 1989, Jones decided to go in business for himself. Happening upon a stretch of Route 33 where there was little development and acres of cornfields, he decided to open a Poor Boy.
Of course, those fields are no longer there, and what is there is a well-developed strip of Route 33 property and, along the rest of the highway, dozens of deli shops.
But that doesn’t faze Jones.
“I like what I’m doing,” he said. “I meet a lot of people. A lot of my customers are friends.
“I’ve been here 19 years. I’m doing something right,” he said.
The first hint of success came the very first day, he said.
“We opened our door the first day with no advertisement, and people came in,” he said. “It’s been a good business.”
Poor Boy also has a co-owner named Rich Thomas, of Lawrenceville.
The shop is best known for its submarine sandwiches. A bologna and cheese sub is $4.50 for a small, and chicken cheese steak sandwich is $5.10 for a small.
One of their most famous sandwiches is the Belly Buster, which contains provolone, ham, peppered ham, capicola, salami and pepperoni. They also make wraps.
Turkey and tuna sandwiches are also very popular. Jones’ favorite sandwich choices are tuna or pastrami, he said.
But, if there is a desired item not on the menu, he is willing to accommodate customers.
“If I can make it, they got it,” he said.
Poor Boy also caters three, four and six-foot sandwiches for parties, with at least a day’s notice.
The 1,700-square-foot establishment can seat about 45 people, though they do a great deal of take-out and pickup business.
Jones said he enjoys being a part of the Hamilton community. He tries to support various community activities including sponsoring various sports leagues.
“There’s a lot here, a lot to do, a lot of things going on,” he said of what he likes about living in Hamilton.
“I try to run a nice clean place that’s friendly,” he said.
Poor Boy is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and Sunday.
For more information, call (609) 587-6606 or go online to poorboysubs.com.