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The Ledger: Lennys Grill & Subs Franchisee and Cancer Survivor Opens Location in Polk
Brain cancer survivor and now business owner Jim Harmer recently opened a Lennys Grill & Subs location in Florida.
Former Polk County deputy and hostage negotiator, Jim Harmer just opened the first Lennys Grill & Subs to serve the greater Lakeland market, expanding the brand's footprint in Florida. The opening was a huge success and a day that Jim will remember forever. Jim is a brain cancer survivor, and up until last year, he was unsure whether or not he was going to be able to beat it. Now, with his parents and wife at his side, he is a survivor and a business owner.
“I thought I could do this by myself,” Jim Harmer said in an interview with The Ledger, “but I can’t.”
Jim previously owned a lawn and garden pest control business, but after his initial diagnosis, gave up the business to focus on treatment. It was during this time that he and his wife were exposed to Lenny's while traveling between Bartow and Tampa. They were hooked on the brand from the first bite.


“I had the Italian sub and I fell in love,” Harmer said to The Ledger reporter. “My wife ate the chicken Philly and she said, ‘Oh my God.’”

In 2011, Jim decided to join the Polk County Sherrif's office for a change of pace and it proved to be the right choice as he was named Detention Deputy of the Year in 2013. With his cancer in remission, Jim also began looking into franchising with his father. The two began their training with Lennys but in 2015, Jim's cancer returned.
After more chemotherapy and a tough decision to give up his job at the Sherrif's Office, Jim has been solely focused on getting his franchise up and running. The cancer is gone for good and with his improved energy, Jim is off to a running start, breaking sales records in less than a week since opening.

“In my mind, I wake up happy every day,” he said to The Ledger.

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