Head West at Millikin

Head West Sub Stop opened its doors last Wednesday, Mar. 12 to approximately 500 anxious visitors. The shop is located in the old Lana’s Cakewalk, and is anxious to finally be on a college campus.

Head West is originally based in Springfield, Ill., serving delicious sandwiches since 2002 off of W. Jefferson Street. Since 2002, Head West has opened seven other stores, including one in Chatham, which is just south of Springfield, and in Rochester. After outreaching to smaller towns like Chatham and Rochester, Head West wanted to move to another big market place like Springfield. More than ten years later, Head West is still owned by the same couple from Springfield. Todd Millburg, the district manager, said, “It’s kind of a mom and pop kind of place.”

“We couldn’t pass this place up,” Millburg said. The Toronto location in Springfield is near University of Illinois at Springfield, but not in walking distance. They are excited to be near a campus with more students out and about. Since opening day, they have been constantly busy during meal times, and even before and after. The first three days there was a line from 10 a.m., when the store opens, to 10 p.m., when the store closes. “It hasn’t been like this too much yet,” Millburg said when he jokingly pointed out his staff laughing with each other behind the counter, “Some of the days we can barely keep up with stocking the chips and keeping everything going. It’s been busy.”

Head West loves their new location. Though they are the third sub shop in the area, they do not feel intimidated by Jimmy John’s or Subway. “We don’t look at them as competition. We all sell sandwiches, but they are completely different products. We have everything fresh. The meat is sliced every day. You will never find anything from yesterday here. We do everything ourselves,” said Millburg. Head West is confident that their fresh meat and veggies will set them apart from the other sub shops in the area, but they are also very confident in their wider array of vegetarian and vegan options. They are also the only one to have the Coca-Cola free style machine, which offers more than 150 choices of fountain drinks.

“We also have Ben & Jerry’s,” said Millburg, “So if you want us to deliver a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, we’ll do it.”

Though Head West does not yet accept flex dollars, Millburg is hopeful to change that very soon. He plans on getting in touch with Millikin to add flex to the store to make it a little easier on students.