Augustine “Gus” Aversa (aka Mike) was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1926. He was one of 9 children. It was a struggle for such a large family, but Gus always showed the heart and desire to succeed. As a young boy growing into a man, he held many jobs to keep him and his family stable: paper boy, milk man, musician, cook in the famous Market Diner, and he even worked at the first Friendly’s ever built. But one of his most decorated jobs was as a Navy man. He traveled the seas and saw many parts of the world and eventually ended up in Japan during WWII.
After the war, Gus ended up in New York where he met the love of his life Agnes in Brooklyn. Agnes was also a hard worker putting in long days and many hours at MacMillian Publishing Company. Gus and Agnes eventually married and had two sons, Augustine and Paul.
They then decided to move to New Jersey for a better life for them and their boys.
In 1961 they moved to New Jersey and settled into a home in Cliffwood Beach, where they still reside today. They found the little, quaint town of Keyport and decided to inquire about starting their own business. They bought the famous Keyport restaurant named Marion’s and started their own sub making business. Since 1961 Agnes and Gus have been working nonstop as owners and employees of Mike’s Giant Size Submarine Sandwiches.
Now in the year 2023, Mike’s has been running strong for 62 years. Not even Superstorm Sandy could stop this business! Yes, it destroyed the building and the hearts of our family and customers, but we rebuilt it and came back stronger than ever.
In the 62 years Mike’s has always has a very simple menu using the finest and freshest ingredients. Not much has changed within the 62 years, even the employees! At the ages of 90 and 88, Gus and Agnes are still working daily, greeting customers, slicing tomatoes, peeling onions, and keeping the rest of the staff under control. Somedays you may even see Gus serenading the customers with the sweet sounds of his accordion. Their two sons Paul and Gus, now owners, have worked there their entire life. They are there daily, Paul talking and slicing and quiet Gus cracking jokes and wrapping subs. Their grandson Gus has been working there day and night since high school learning all there is to know about owning and running a successful business. He may be quiet, but he is smart, neat, organized, and efficient and cares about every aspect of the business. Gus’s wife Lisa has also stepped into the business as a vital employee to Mike’s Subs. She is there daily dealing mainly with the financial aspects of the business and keeping the men under control! Gus and Agnes’s granddaughter Danielle worked in the business since she was 14 years old and a Freshman in high school. She is now 43, married, and a Special Education Teacher in Old Bridge, but you can still see her working behind the counter every summer and whenever needed.
Mike’s is truly a family business and always will be!