Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches was born out of Jimmy John Liautaud’s passion for food and for entrepreneurship . Liautaud now uses his success to help others follow their passions. Since 2014, Liautaud and his wife, Leslie, have supported Camp Southern Ground, a non-profit project founded by Grammy Award-winning artist Zac Brown, which celebrated its first year of operations last year. The project provides summer camp opportunities for children aged 7-17, as well as programs to help veterans readjust to civilian life after serving in the military.
Camp Southern Ground was able to open last year after building its first residential lodge, which was made possible by donations from Jimmy John’s and the Liautaud Family Foundation. The Liautauds have donated more than $3.2 million to help build the camp and support its mission of providing extraordinary experiences for individuals and help them develop their talents to impact the world. The camp is grateful for the Liautauds support over the years.
“We are honored to consider Jimmy and Leslie Liautaud friends and long-time supporters of our mission. Their heart and passion coming alongside all of us at Camp Southern Ground means the world to us and was instrumental in our successful building of the camp. In addition to financial support, I also appreciate Jimmy’s mentoring and willingness to assist at the strategic level,” said Camp Southern Ground CEO and President, Mike Dobbs.
Jimmy enjoys mentoring others as they pursue their dreams and often shares his story with others at speaking engagements around the country. Liautaud founded Jimmy John’s in 1983 in a converted garage in Charleston, Illinois a few blocks from Eastern Illinois University. Since then, Jimmy John’s has grown into a national sandwich chain with more than 2,800 locations. Liautaud uses his success to help others by donating to causes he cares about and providing guidance to up-and-coming entrepreneurs.