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The Tradition Continues: Munchy’s is Here to Stay
by Cody Moore, photography by Amy Long

Since opening its doors in 1975, Munchy’s Speciality Sandwiches has become a staple for both the Jonesboro community and A-State staff and students. Forty-three years later, under new ownership, the small sandwich shop is shaping up to be better than ever.

Former owner Tom Fielder announced in February that he would be closing Munchy’s after owning the business for 28 years. Brian Biggs and Jeffrey Higgins, like many in the Jonesboro community, were quickly taken aback by the news and decided to do something about it. The two took over the business in March in hope of continuing the legacy of Munchy’s while adding some new touches to keep the business thriving.

“With Munchy’s being a Jonesboro staple for 43 years, I really hated to hear it was going to close,” said Biggs. “This has been a place for so many people to gather, eat and make memories for many years.”

The community, families and A-State students all gathered at Munchy’s not only to enjoy the quick yet tastefully made food, but the historic character, as well. Upon walking into Munchy’s cozy atmosphere, customers are greeted by an array of A-State memorabilia hanging on the walls, bringing a sense of nostalgia to the restaurant.

“I believe A-State is a large part of the reason Munchy’s has made it 43 years,” said Higgins. “Once school starts back in the fall, we plan to get very involved with catering for rush and tailgates during football season. … I am a big A-State fan and alumni, and I feel that the history and the food (are things) that people will continue to love.”

Biggs and Higgins aren’t strangers when it comes to the food industry, as they have each worked in the business for many years. Higgins is the founder and owner of JTown’s Grill, another A-State hot spot, and Biggs also works as a food consultant at Ben E. Keith Company, where he has been for 15 years.

“I have worked with Jeffrey for over five years consulting at JTown’s,” said Biggs. “He contacted me about Munchy’s closing and was interested in keeping it open himself. I called the owner at the time, Mr. Tom Fielder, and got a meeting scheduled for Jeffrey and Tom to meet. After the meeting, I started thinking about asking Jeffrey if we should partner together to keep Munchy’s going. He was quick to accept my offer, and we got to work. I knew with my food knowledge and his business knowledge we would have a great partnership.”

Fans of the restaurant will be happy to know that Munchy’s menu has remained the same, with a few new additions. One of the most popular menu items, Munchy’s Famous Cheese Sticks, are still made the same way they were when the restaurant first opened. The steamed sandwiches and wraps are still made fresh daily, beginning with the staff baking the bread each morning and cutting all of the vegetables and meats that make each item fresh and unique.

“The main thing we want our customers to know is that we have kept all the food items that they have loved over the years the same,” said Biggs. “The bread is the same, the cheese sticks are the same, the way the food is prepared is the same and we have some of the same staff. When we bought Munchy’s, we decided we didn’t have to reinvent the wheel, … we just needed to come in, make a few subtle changes and add in the new items we wanted to see on the menu.”

Some of the items on the new Munchy’s 2.0 menu include the already popular Munchy’s Burger, the Philly Cheesesteak sandwich, loaded hot dogs, soups of the day, an array of fresh salads and the multiple freshly baked cookie options. Another new feature is the pick-up window, where after calling in an order, customers can pick up their food at their own convenience. Biggs and Higgins wanted to add new menu items among other small things to give Munchy’s the new look it deserves, all while staying as close to the original as possible.

“We want to keep the Munchy’s tradition alive for many more years to come,” said Biggs. “Years ago, there were several locations of Munchy’s, and now this is the only one left. We would love to eventually be able to expand back into those communities and even others.”

Customers have been nothing but supportive of the new changes, according to both Biggs and Higgins, and as time goes on, they plan to add more menu items in order to expand the food options Munchy’s offers its loyal customers.

“The public has been great to us,” said Higgins. “I think they are glad Munchy’s has stayed open and are showing that appreciation. I feel we are doing our part to keep everything as they remembered, and we are very much appreciative for the business. We aim to make it a great experience every time they dine with us.”

Munchy’s Speciality Sandwiches is located at 1320 S. Caraway Rd. and is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. To stay updated on the new menu items and to see the latest updates, find the restaurant on Facebook or call (870) 932-5360.