One of Us: Ed Malin


As the owner of Jacksonville Beach institution Angie’s Subs and Angie’s Grom, Ed Malin has a strong connection to the Beaches area. A third-generation First Coast resident, Malin has been in the food and beverage industry for 30 years. He is now making his first run for public office, seeking the 4th congressional district seat being vacated by the retiring Ander Crenshaw.

You grew up in Palm Valley. How has the area changed since then?

I was in the first class at Nease High School back in 1982. We were 10th graders then, with no 11th or 12th grades in front of us. Back then, there was only a two-lane road from the Palm Valley area to US 1. There was no Nocatee, no Gate station, no traffic light at the intersection of US 1 and CR 210. There was a Gator Lodge on US 1 across from Nease, and to call it a convenience store would be a compliment. It did have cold drinks and a Space Invaders arcade game that got many of my quarters after school.

Palm Valley back then was still “the sticks.” The valley was the other side of the tracks to Ponte Vedra – mostly mobile homes and small, single-family homes. Back before The Players was built and the swamps were drained into “the canal,” we used to catch coolers full of shrimp from July through October by throwing cast nets off the docks along the waterway.

How did you become involved in the food and beverage industry?

I moved to Houston around 1986 and I took a job waiting tables there in a restaurant called The Mason Jar. This job would be my first foray into the restaurant industry. I graduated quickly to bartending, noticing that was the place the ladies tended to congregate. I stayed in Houston for a year and then moved back to Jax, taking many different jobs in the industry until buying Angie’s Subs in 1999.

What’s the most challenging part of running your businesses?

The restaurant business is a very competitive and challenging business to operate. There are many moving parts, many aspects to profitability and many regulations to adhere to. I tell my employees we are in the food service industry: 50 percent of what we do is food and the other 50 is service. If we don’t pay attention to either half, we will fail. One of the greatest life experiences for me is to have been the proprietor of a Jax Beach tradition. Angie’s Subs has existed to some degree for over 40 years at The Beaches. I have owned it for the last 18 years. In that time, I have employed some of the finest young people that the Beaches have produced. Teaching them some aspects of the food service industry, giving many of them their first jobs, then watching them grow and become parents and hard working adults has been a great reward for me. The most challenging thing is staying competitive and staying profitable at the same time.

What prompted you to run for Congress?

I have been a frustrated American taxpayer for many years. When I saw that Ander Crenshaw was retiring, I tossed out the idea of running for his seat to my wife. She said go for it. I did.

What are the key issues you’d like to address if elected?

1. Eliminate the federal income tax, capital gains tax, death tax, inheritance tax, corporate tax and payroll taxes, and replace them with a national sales tax. Making this one change would solve a myriad of problems.

2. Fix the VA. It is ridiculous that here in a Navy town our vets, who have sacrificed for all Americans, have to drive by five of the best hospitals in the south to go to a hospital in Gainseville. If our congress can figure out how to get 59 million people food stamps every month, they should be able to take care of our vets.

3. We have to figure out how to stop the chaos that is spreading in the Middle East without American boots on the ground. It sounds impossible, but for years America helped to keep the peace through diplomacy and payoffs to the best bad guy on the block. All threats from Middle East extremists must be dealt with, ideally on Middle Eastern soil. Terror on American soil cannot become the norm.

4. It is time we eliminate the Electoral College. It is possible today for 12 states to pick the next POTUS. What people want is transparency in elections. Not Barack Obama’s definition of transparency, Webster’s definition. Transparency and uniformity in federal elections are needed for more engagement from the electorate.

You’re in a race against some established politicians. What do you think you bring to the race as a first-time candidate?

Entrenched politicians are doomed. Career politicians have created the mess that is our federal government. Take the income tax. Everyone knows it is a broken system. Everyone knows it is completely unfair, corrupt, burdensome and confiscatory. Yet no one in Congress is really working to fix it or eliminate it. The American taxpayer is waking up, and I am going to be a very loud alarm clock for them.

You are running a self-funded campaign. How do you plan to try and compete against better-funded candidates?

Campaigning for this seat is the toughest thing I have ever undertaken. The two guys at the top of this race will have spent 10 times what I have spent when this is over. Knowing that they can beat me with quantity of messages, I have to beat them with quality. I am a sandwich maker. I started out with a tiny takeout sandwich shop. Nearby was a Quizno’s, a Subway, a Firehouse, a Larry’s and numerous fast food joints. Those guys could kill me on price and quantity. But they could not beat my quality. Eighteen years later I am selling more sandwiches from one location than many of those guys combined. Quality over quantity will win.