If you go around Long Beach, it would be difficult to find someone who has not at least heard of Joe Jost or seen someone wearing one of their shirts. Founded by namesake, Joe Jost, in 1924, the pub has been an institution for Long Beach natives and a landmark in the city’s history for nearly a century. Despite being in business for so long, the pub has continued to remain a family business, with Joe’s grandson Ken Buck taking up ownership of the tavern. Joe Jost has become famous for continuing to serve the community schooners, root beer, pickled eggs, and sandwiches for nearly 100 years.
For the past 45 years, Ken has decided to give 50 percent of their Christmas Eve sales to a local charity. After the success of their first fundraiser, Ken decided to make it an annual tradition in order to continue to give back to the community that has supported his pub for so long.
“For years, the busiest day of the year has usually been Christmas Eve, so it just made sense that should be the day we donate our proceeds,” says Ken. “[Joe Jost] is a place where people run into friends and acquaintances that they haven’t seen for a long time, and we felt that it was a nice way to let our customers connect while giving back to the patrons. I’m not asking my customers to donate because this about giving back to them. Once we started this, I’ve had people come up and say, ‘Thank you so much, my wife is going through this’ or ‘My father’s going through this’ and other relating stories they had with the Todd Cancer Institute.”
This past holiday season, Ken chose the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center as the recipient for the annual fundraiser. To bring awareness to the cause, he displayed the Todd Cancer Institute logo in the pub to raise awareness of cancer and the Institute’s services. The Todd Cancer Institute is also a special place for the Buck family. In 2021, Ken’s wife, Cathleen, was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo surgery.
“She was taken care of so well, we thought that this was a good place to donate our proceeds from that day to,” Ken says. “She’s currently healing and waiting to undergo chemotherapy. Her doctors are all housed at the Todd Cancer Pavilion, and it’s just a very compassionate group of people.”
Over the course of one day, Joe Jost was able to raise around $5,000 to support the Todd Cancer Institute!
“It is especially wonderful to have this support from Long Beach’s iconic Joe Jost sandwich shop,” says Rob Gunsalus, president, MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center Foundation. “It is local businesses and community members like them that have a deep sense of community and help Long Beach Medical Center provide extraordinary care for the community.”