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Bubba’s owner first honoree of new recognition program

February 6, 2020
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

Whenever there is a big event or a charity or non-profit needs a hand, Jay Johnson, owner of Bubba's Roadhouse and Saloon, is always there to lend a hand.

And for all he has given back to the community, the Lee County Board of County Commissioners gave something to him, a new award.

Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman presented Johnson and Bubba's with the Excellence in Business Award on Tuesday at his business at 2121 Pine Island Road. Johnson is the first recipient of the award.

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County Commissioner Brian Hamman, left, presents Jay Johnson, owner of Bubba’s Roadhouse & Saloon, with the Excellence in Business Award on Tuesday at his business at 2121 Pine Island Road.

"I'm shocked and humbled, really. I didn't think we would be up on the list, but Brian thought different," Johnson said. "He's recognizing small businesses that give back to the community and in his criteria, we were on top."

The award was created by Hamman to highlight one Lee County business each month for its outstanding performance and contributions to the citizens and business community.

"When I came into office, I thought about the businesses that work quietly in the background that improve the community and are the unsung heroes of our community," Hamman said. "Not only does Jay put out a great product and employ lots of people, but also gives back so much of his time and treasure to this community."

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Johnson opened Bubba's in 1994 on Cape Coral Parkway and then opened a second location in 1998 on Pine Island Road, next to the German-American Social Club, before merging both restaurants in 2001 at their current Pine Island Road location.

But besides the great food, Johnson works long and hard to make Cape Coral a better place to love. His involvement in the community is endless.

"We give gift certificates to many charitable organizations. We do things with the Gulf Coast Humane Society and celebrity chef events," Johnson said. "The community has embraced us for a long time and we embrace them back."

Hamman said there are many businesses throughout Lee County that go above and beyond the call to help the community out.

"Those are the people I'll be thinking about. Once a month I'd like to recognize at least one small business that goes above and beyond," Hamman said.

Johnson said local businesses have an obligation to be good citizens and do their part, whether it be signing a check or sponsoring a Little League team.

"As a business leader, you have to be active in the community. As the community grows, so does the business," Johnson said. "Normally we just get recognized for our food, not based on what we do. To do things for the community is why we're in business."



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