Nutritionists will tell you breakfast is the most important meal, putting the fuel in our bodies to power us through the morning and into the day.
That philosophy is hard at work at Jerry Bob's, the restaurant where breakfast is served daily, no matter the time, during all open hours.
Margie Filson, the owner of three Jerry Bob's locations and the franchisor-partner in five others around town, said breakfast always was the favorite meal of her husband, Jerry, which prompted him to open his first restaurant in Greeley, Colo., with then-partner Bob Mooney.
Filson owns the Jerry Bob's locations at Broadway and Rosemont (opened in 1998), Oracle and Magee Roads (2000), and Thornydale and Cortaro Roads (2002). Besides those three locations and the five that are franchised, three additional Jerry Bob's restaurants in the area are independently owned.
After owning and running several other restaurants in Colorado, Jerry Filson moved to Tucson and opened the first two Chuy's restaurants, eventually selling them and starting over again with Jerry Bob's at Speedway and Pantano.
"That's where we met about 14 years ago," Margie Filson said. "We worked hard and got the place going and then got the ball rolling with others."
After her husband died in May 2007, Filson decided to keep the restaurants and the signature breakfast-all-the-time theme.
"I'm a stickler for keeping prices low to bring people into the restaurants," she said. "One of my concepts is to keep my coffee prices as low as I can get them to bring people in."
Calling the style of cuisine at Jerry Bob's "mom and pop's home cooking," Filson said the eatery's signature dish is chicken fried steak.
"It's our number one favorite," she noted, "but for breakfast, people also like Huevos Garcia, which is hash browns mixed with peppers and onions, and smothered with cheese and picante sauce. It's served with two eggs any style and flour tortillas."
Another Jerry Bob's special breakfast that's a hit with customers is the Square Meal, Filson said — chopped ham sautéed with onions, loaded on hash browns, covered with melted cheese and served with two eggs and toast or a biscuit.
Filson has her hands full running three restaurants and partnering in five others, so she's turned over a lot of the operational details to Nancy Grubaugh, her general manager. "She's all I need to keep things working well," Filson said.
Jerry Bob's also serves lunch, and some mid-day favorites include meatloaf, catfish, pork tenderloin and Cajun chicken, according to Filson.
"We also have blackboard specials that change every day," Filson pointed out. "For instance, at breakfast our cooks can get really crafty and make unusual omelets or homemade tamales with beans and rice."
Turnover among the staff is exceptionally low, Filson said. She's had cooks and servers who have worked for her for 10 years or more.
"I'm so proud of my staff," she noted. "I have more than 100 employees in my three stores. I'm loyal to them and they're loyal to me, so we take care of each other."
Filson's three locations each seat between 85 and 100 people and each occupy about 2,300 square feet. The restaurants are open from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
"But sometimes if there are customers standing outside the door, we'll open early," Filson said. "We want to take care of our customers."