Toton couple branch out to open their own Subway franchsise
Maps of New York adorn the walls of the new Subway in Stapleford – but for one entrepreneurial couple the store represents something much closer to home.
Dan and Sammy Hardstaff, from Toton, have both worked for the American sandwich giant for a number of years, but were determined to set up their first franchise in their community.
Dan was head of operations for eight stores around the East Midlands and Sammy was a store manager, but the couple have plotted a bid for a store over the last nine months.
The new Subway, in Hickings Lane, has created 11 new full-time and part-time jobs and opens Wednesday at 11am.
Sammy, 28, said: “We’ve been doing the training for the last few days at the store and have already had people trying to open the door. A few people have walked in if we’ve left it unlocked and we’ve had to tell them we aren’t open yet.
“For us, starting up our own franchise just seemed like the obvious next step. We wanted to become a part of the community and I think we can do that here.”
The new takeway is on a row of shops which also includes a Co-op and a chip shop and is just around the corner from Bramcote Hills Park.
Dan, 33, added: “We live in Toton and we want to be a local store for local people.
“We want to get involved in the community. At a few other stores they have sponsored local football teams and things like that, so that’s what we want to do.
“We’ve also taken on the staff from the local area as well.”
Sammy said: “It’s in a really good position because there are other shops around here and the park is just around the corner.”
Dan will continue his job as head of operations at the other franchises, while Sammy will run the store.
“I’ve run a store before, just never owned one,” she said.
“It does mean there is a little bit of extra responsibility for me, but I’m sure it will be fine.
“It’s a bit nerve-wracking but quite exciting as well. I’m looking forward to it.
“We’ve had a few people here from Subway helping us train the staff but, after they leave, I’ll be looking after them on my own.
“The only thing different so far really is the amount of interviews I had to do. I’ve done a few interviews before but never so many.
“We had a lot of applications for the jobs available, and ended up interviewing 45 people in one day, so that was something I’d never done before.”
The couple are juggling the opening of the store with raising their daughter, 18-month-old Sansa.
Sammy added: “I will be getting to the store at 6am so Dan will be able to get her to nursery or school, and it’s not far away from where we live anyway.
“All Subway stores have to open for 7am because they do breakfast.
“I do enjoy the full breakfast from here. I’ve been working at Subway for almost eight years now but I still eat the food all the time. I love it.
“Sometimes I get a bit bored of a sandwich so I have a salad pot.
“I never thought I’d be working at Subway for so long when I started there, but it’s all progressed quite well for us here, so we’re still here, and we still eat the food.”
The couple were keen to make sure the staff they took on where also from the local community.
Lauren Sherwin, 16, is from Stapleford, and said she is pleased a Subway store opened in the area.
“I do like Subway so it’s been interesting coming in and see how it all works,” she said. “I’m just about to start sixth form and I think now is the time when what you do outside of school is important.
“Hopefully working here will help me develop the skills that people want when you are looking for a job.
“I don’t really know what I want to do, but the people skills and teamwork you get here can be applied everywhere really.”
Siddiqa Yusuf, 17, from Toton, added: “This is the first proper job I’ve had and I’m really looking forward to us opening.
“I’ve never really thought about how much goes into what happens here whenever I’ve been in a Subway, so it’s been interesting to find out during training.”