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Kyanna Isaacson, left, with her mentor-turned-minority-partner Steve Youlios at her first Jersey Mike’s.
In December, Kyanna Isaacson, age 26, opened her first Jersey Mike’s store as a majority owner, a shop she was awarded by the chain’s founder in 2016, right after she was named manager of the year at the chain’s annual conference. Judging by the smile on her face in the photo, she’s excited. “There’s really no words that I can explain everything,” said Isaacson when reached the day before her store opening, in Valencia, California. “But I’m so thankful for the opportunity, one, and I couldn’t do it without my partner, Steve. He hired me when I was 16, and I was the first employee he hired.” That’s Steve Youlios, pictured with Isaacson, whom she gave a minority interest in her store in a turnabout move—Youlios had done the same for Isaacson in 2012. “That’s when Steve offered me the partnership to leave” culinary school. “He knew I wasn’t happy,” and she’s been a minority owner since in the stores she’s managing for him. Isaacson is the first manager of the year to be awarded a franchise by Jersey Mike’s, she said, and it’s part of the brand’s fledgling STAY program. That stands for Sweat, Tears and Years, where managers can partner with mentors to become owners.