Our story began in 1972 when two cousins, Bill Specht and Jim Sheppard, brought their favorite style of sub sandwich from the East Coast to their new hometown of Milwaukee. Setting out to craft the finest sandwiches possible with the belief that “there is no substitute for quality,” they used bread baked daily, ingredients sliced deli-fresh and grilled subs made to order—a focus on quality we take pride in today.



We Believe in Better through the continual improvement in everything we do. When it comes to the products we serve, quality has no substitute.

While others seek to create value by cutting back, we choose to improve and offer more. When our communities are in need, we offer our support.

Local at Heart

Better at Heart


Grounded: We honor our history, treat everyone as family and aim to become a valuable asset in every community we join.

Optimistic: We believe in the power of personal growth and that success is contagious. We challenge ourselves to make every day extraordinary.

Purposeful: We believe positive change comes from focused and deliberate actions. Our passions lie in serving others and maintaining the highest quality standards in all that we do.

Passionate: We continually strive to improve, exceed expectations and are motivated to help those around us succeed.



    South Milwaukee - 4 Stores

    “I love the industry and my stores, and I enjoy the commitment and hard work that’s involved in running my own franchise. I’m happy with the results I’ve received.”

    Waukesha County - 6 Stores

    "As a franchisee, the system that Cousins has in place works well. That's what makes it a great business ownership opportunity. There's a great combination of structure and flexibility, plus, Cousins really cares about its franchisees. They're very open to listening, which is one of the things that makes the Cousins family different. In most franchise systems, you're a number, and that's it. But Cousins cares about their people, not just about numbers, and they're a company that's going to grow in the future."

    Chicago - 40-Unit Development Deal

    "When we met with the leadership team, they were extremely friendly, humble, respectful and easy to talk to. That was one of the things that convinced us to move forward with them. Cousins is a brand that has achieved a lot of success, and we're confident in our decision to partner with them."

    Manitowoc - 2 Stores

    "I've always loved Cousins Subs' sandwiches, and I always wanted to own a sub shop, so I sought the brand out. It's been an amazing experience–I’m still surprised that in a town of 35,000, I’m getting to know new people from different parts of the community. I'm eager to become a multi-unit owner so that I can spread Cousins' unique culture far and wide."