Growing up in Palm Valley before the influx of millionaires who changed the course of old Palm Valley history forever was a joy for kids back in the seventies. With Solano Road going from A1A past the three curves and turning into Roscoe Blvd, and Canal Blvd where the “In & Out” store sat at the intersection of Roscoe and Canal, it was not only common, but expected to see new tire burn out tracks all through those roads every Saturday and Sunday mornings! One of our community’s most well-known and beloved icons was one of the kids who grew up in Palm Valley, and while First Coast Life certainly isn’t claiming he was one of the kids laying rubber every weekend, Ed Malin knows all too well of the antics that made the Valley a fun place to grow up. In fact, Malin is also part of a special group of kids from the Ponte Vedra/Palm Valley area who graduated in the first graduating class from Nease High School, later made famous by football star Tim Tebow. “When Nease opened,” Malin told First Coast Life, “I was in tenth grade, and there were no juniors or seniors in front of my class. Then as a junior, again, there were no seniors. So when I started twelfth grade my class had been at the top of the food chain, if you will, the whole time I attended Nease!”
After high school, Ed wanted to get a college degree and enrolled in the University of North Florida. “Funny thing about UNF too,” Malin said, “was that I was in the first freshman class there. I made good grades but I goofed off way too much and pulled out. Then I packed my stuff and along with my best friend Kevin Faver, headed to Gainesville and enrolled in Santa Fe Community College.” College seemed to become a career endeavor and after six years of college Ed opted to settle on an Associates of Arts and pursued a beachier lifestyle as a bartender at Ragtime. Ten years behind the bar at Ragtime certainly afforded Malin a healthy beachy lifestyle but ultimately, he wanted something more. The opportunity to buy Angie’s Subs presented itself and in 1999, Ed became the proud new owner of an already somewhat popular business.
“I bought Angie’s on April 1,1999 but I kept bartending at Ragtime at night for the following six months because we only did lunch at Angie’s.” While Angie’s Subs has a much longer history than most people realize, the Angie’s on Mayport Road was a favorite of surfers who were headed to Hanna Park to surf the poles, or headed home hungry from a grueling surf session. And even though the subs were world class there, beach locals rarely headed out that way unless the surf was good. When Angie’s opened in its current location it was like a little slice of heaven had fallen from the sky giving everyone the opportunity to experience what had previously been a sort of surfer’s paradise sub shop!
Carol Lackie was the third owner of Angie’s and operated the Beach Blvd location for almost nine years before selling it to Malin, but she stayed on as Ed’s only employee for a while. Malin then found himself the owner/operator of a nineteen-foot-wide sub shop featuring take out only, selling maybe forty subs on a good day. Lackie tragically passed away not long after selling to Malin and then Ed called upon a friend from his days at Ragtime and Melanie Dutcher became his sub maker, floor sweeper, inventory manager and only employee for the next few months. “Business didn’t really take long to pick up,” Malin told us. “Soon I realized we were selling like sixty subs a day, then seventy, then eighty subs a day and I found myself hiring some more part time employees. As business grew, the Little Champ next door went out of business and I rented that space for $1,100.00 a month. I had no idea how I was going to pay for it, but I had to have it, “ he added with this big smile on his face. Interestingly enough, unbeknownst to most of Malin’s customers, when he took over the space left by the convenience store, he constructed a big wall on wheels, that as business continued to improve, he slowly pushed back a little bit at a time to add more tables. Malin continued, “As I needed more space, people would bring in tables and chairs that they were getting rid of anyway and that’s where a lot of my seating came from.”
Beach locals may remember that the strip mall contained a dry cleaner and a laundry mat on the east end, Angie’s in the middle and the Little Champ to the west. Eventually Ed purchased the building and the lot so as the leases expired on the dry cleaner and the laundry mat, he found himself expanding into the entire building. The property was no stranger to Malin though. Many years ago, there was Reeve’s trailer park adjacent to the property and that is where Malin’s grandmother lived. While spending time with his grandmother she often brought him along while she did laundry, giving him a handful of quarters to play pinball in the convenience store. “I could barely see over the top of the glass,” Ed said, “but I’d play pinball for hours while my grandmother was in the laundry mat!”
As Ed grew up cancer played a major part of his life having lost his dad to cancer, seeing his mother battle the disease and now his wife is a twelve-year survivor. Sitting in doctor’s offices, treatment and oncology centers and talking to cancer victims is no stranger to Malin, and the trials and tribulations of experiencing all of that has given him a new purpose in life. “While my wife was going through treatment,” he told us, “we decided if we ever had the ability that we would create a foundation to assist others who were struggling with the disease.” Ultimately the Malins created a line of vodka called Two Titmice Vodka and have worked diligently to see it grow into a nationally distributed brand that now funds the Two Titmice Foundation. Now the sale of the vodka is generating revenue that allows the Malins to help families who are desperately in need of help. “People going through chemotherapy have a hard enough time dealing with their everyday struggles,” Ed stated. “So we now have the ability to help with household expenses for people who are really in need. We have now entered our fifth year of running the foundation and just last week I wrote another round of checks totalling over ten thousand dollars that provided relief for household expenses to some very deserving people.” Malin added, “The greatest thing I do now is write those checks!”
Ed’s statement about how rewarding it is to help cancer victims is certainly true to how he feels, but it’s not where his community service ends. At Malin’s direction Angie’s Subs is constantly leading the charge to help causes closer to home. When a group of kids broke into the utility shed at Fletcher High School not too long ago, and went on a vandalism spree that ultimately wrecked the tractor as well as damaged much of the football field, Malin created a Go Fund Me account and raised over twenty thousand dollars in approximately twelve hours. Within days the equipment was replaced and efforts to repair everything damaged were covered and underway. And here is where Ed Malin’s commitment to community reflects one of those old Ginsu Steak Knife commercials. Every time you think Ed can’t do any more that voiceover guy is heard saying, “BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!” During extreme weather events you can find Angie’s open throughout the night providing coffee, tea and sustenance to the area’s first responders and utility workers. When tragedies strike or affect other first responders you can bet that somewhere leading the charge to help those in need, Ed Malin will be included in the mix. As for Angie’s Subs, Ed pretty much feels that there’s no need to fix what isn’t broken. The only new endeavor on the radar is a barbeque offering that features Ed’s world famous brisket in a to-go box. “I am going to offer brisket dinners that will be to go only. It’s a box that will include brisket and sides big enough to feed two for right around twenty bucks. Customers will be able to just pull up, tell their server how many they need and it will be delivered to them to carry home. Nobody does anything like it and I’m excited to get it going!” As long as there are people hungry who love what he offers, Angie’s will continue to do what it does best, and whether that is to feed them or entertain them remains yet to be determined!
You can learn more about the Two Titmice Foundation by visiting www.twotitmicevodka.com
If you have a “Story Behind The Story” you’d like featured in FirstCoastLife, contact Glenn Shuck at firstname.lastname@example.org.