Even Stevens' ASU location sells sandwiches 'with a cause'

The Utah-based sandwich shops utilizes its unique atmosphere and charitable mission to appeal to ASU students and the Tempe community

Even Stevens, a Utah-based sandwich shop, established one of its many presences just outside campus with the mission of redefining the food industry and becoming a part of the ASU community.

The restaurant chain, which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner alongside its signature sandwiches, has 11 locations across three states, with four currently in Arizona. According to Even Stevens' website, the shop operates on a “one-for-one” business model, meaning that for every sandwich sold, the equivalent in funds is donated to any of the four nonprofit organizations each store is affiliated with.

Andy Deines, an Even Stevens “Street Vice,” or a spokesman, said he's from Utah, where the sandwich shop originated, and that he wanted to be a part of its vision from the start.

“I was first one in there, I wanted to be a part of it from day one,” he said. "Loved what they were doing, the concept … We’re a sandwich shop with a cause.”

Deines said the Tempe location, which donates to UMOMTumbleweed Center for YouthTempe Community Action Agency and Operation Care Food Bank, does so in order to fulfill its charitable mission.

“That’s our ultimate goal,” he said. “We would like to be able to take care of the food costs for these nonprofits, and that’s hefty, man. We work with a lot of food banks … we’d like to (help them) reallocate funds into other social aspects.”

Deines said Even Stevens provides Sysco accounts to each of their nonprofits, enabling them to use the funds from sandwiches sold to order their own ingredients.

Anybody from the ASU community, Deines said, is welcome to the store even if they’re not there to eat.

“To ASU students in particular we like to be inclusive with everyone,” he said. “I know we’re right off campus here and it’s a real market for us to try to hit … We’ve got live music, which is a brand-wide thing we do. Live art, the french-toast eating contest, those things. But we also offer free coffee for students with an ID.”

Elizabeth Duley, a shift lead at Even Stevens, said the internal workings of the restaurant function off of close-knit relationships and positive attitudes.

“It’s just like one big extended family,” she said. “You’re going to find that in every shop that you go into it’s really warm, charismatic staff … We’re just about having a good time. That’s actually one of the house rules.”

Duley said the shop’s mission to redefine the food industry is indicated by its pioneering of the “one-for-one” business model.

Dylan Yarbrough, a supply chain management sophomore, said the shop has a unique, welcoming vibe not seen in many other restaurants in the area.

“I would say energy of the staff combined with good food and free coffee, you really can’t go wrong,” he said. “I think that in a lot of ways it’s nice to see that they’re socially conscious and on top of that they recognize that we’re students. Like, we get free coffee with an ID which is pretty nice.”

Chandler Brewster, a business communications sophomore, shared Yarbrough's sentiment and said she appreciates the shop’s mission and method of donation.

“I think it’s amazing," she said. "I think it honestly encourages you to come out and give this certain place business more often than you’d give another place business.”

Brewster said the same not just for the shop’s cause, but also its atmosphere.

“I know for us at least, we’ve been here multiple times not only because the food’s good but also because they have a good cause … Vibe honestly sets it apart," she said.


Reach the reporter at angelmendoza@cox.net or follow @niceledes on Twitter.

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Correction: Due to a reporting error, the number of Even Stevens locations in Arizona was written incorrectly. The article has been updated to reflect the correct number.


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