Cheba Hut has proven to be more popular than it imagined
In 1998, Scott Jennings opened his first Cheba Hut marijuana-themed sub shop in Tempe, AZ. What started as a simple eatery has turned into a major enterprise and Jennings now expects to be able to expand into other states, including Colorado. Within a few short years, the unwitting entrepreneur expects to have at least 50 shops dotting various landscapes.
Three Cheba Huts are going to open in Colorado this year. One will be in Stapleton in Denver, the second in Johnstown and the third will be in Colorado Springs. These three will join the nine others already operating across the state and the 24 total operating in the U.S. Store number 25 is expected to open in Las Vegas in the near future, as well.
Franchises are also coming to Georgia, Texas and California. The company’s chief relationship officer, Seth Larsen, explains, “We’re getting ready to push nationally. We want to be smart about our growth.”
Cheba Hut capitalized on the marijuana publicity, but not the marijuana products. The shops are all decorated with colorful and psychedelic murals and the sandwich names certain conjure up images of marijuana, but that’s about where the connection ends. Even the police were a little uncertain at first, stopping in routinely to ensure that nothing underhanded was going on inside the establishments.
Cheba Huts are also found in New Mexico, Oregon, Nevada and Wisconsin and, across the board, the company managed about $30 million in sales last year. Not bad for a guy who started out just looking to cover his college tuition.