WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - It's a fresh start for Jreck Subs. Local sub shop owners say a new owner is exactly what the brand needs and they like what's on the menu.
“We’re just so excited as a franchise community to kinda be back on our way again. It’s been a long journey for us,” said Peter Whitmore, co-owner of four Jreck Subs locations.
Whitmore and his partners have spent the last 2 and a half years operating their shops under the guidance of the U.S. Marshals. But now, a new leader has been named - Matthew Darrah and Fresh Start Franchising, Inc.
"Which is just so appropriate. It really is a fresh start for all of us. So, his background, he's just a very impressive guy and he's in it for the right reasons. We were concerned maybe not having the right fit, the right owner but we're real comfortable that this is the right guy and brings a team with him so we're really excited," said Whitmore.
Darrah has met some franchisees already and says the plan moving forward won't be his - it'll be a team effort including the shop owners.
"I can help them with my experience in multi-unit operations and bringing a lot of training, new ideas, and all kind of energy to what is already a spectacular brand but you could argue that it is a little tired and it needs re-energized and I'm going to help do that," he said.
Darrah says store locations and the brand need to be updated and refreshed.
Sub shops owners agree, saying the company has been without that vision after the previous owner, Christopher Swartz, was sent to prison for wire fraud and tax evasion.
"Looks like it's going to be a big improvement. We haven't had the support as it's been in litigation and we're hoping now our Jrecks will continue and grow," said
Mike Skelly, Massena franchisee.
"We haven't been very strong on our marketing so this is a real chance to kind of re-brand, reset what we are to our customers, so that part is very important. We all know our stores need an update, and a new look so we're excited about what is Jreck Subs going to look like in the future," said Whitmore.
A fresh start for an iconic north country sandwich shop.