On Tuesday this week, Fred DeLuca died after a two year battle against leukemia. He was 67, and opened his first Subway store in 1965 with a friend when he was just seventeen years old.
I bet most of you know what a BLT is, and what the letters stand for. However, I bet few of you will know what a BMT is, or what the letters stand for. To find out you will have to click below and read to the foot of the article.
On Wednesday morning this week I went along to Subway in Church Walk Burgess Hill to meet up with Mathew Cates, the franchisee. Mathew has been there for almost a year now. Previously he ran a store in Crawley, and before that he worked at the Subway Head Office for this area in Crawley.
He is married with two young children (the second of whom started school this term) and is as positive in outlook as anyone I know. He told me about his background and his decision to move down from London to Brighton some years ago when his girlfriend was studying at Brighton University. They are now married and living in Worthing, where they were able to afford a house with a garage so that they could accommodate the lathe which his wife needs for her work. She makes high quality wooden goods which she shows in galleries around Sussex.
He told me the story of Fred DeLuca and the fact that Subway is bigger than Macdonalds in numbers of outlets.
Mathew has some great new ideas for his shop in Burgess Hill, and he wants to sell more of his produce to the business community. For now suffice to say that he has plans which will be unveiled quite soon. He is an innovative and determined guy, and he believes that he will make a success of the shop in Burgess Hill despite the current problems with retail and town centres.
I wish him every success, for he and his staff work very hard and deserve to succeed. He is offering a service which may be better than most in retail fast food provision.
nb BMT stands for Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit – which is a section of the “Subway” system in New York. The first stores opened in New York City, where Fred was living.