10 Items You Could Not Know About Blimpie

As America’s oldest submarine sandwich chain, Blimpie has served up deli subs for more than 50 many years. And while they started off with just signature subs—like their meat-packed Blimpie Finest, which has been a greatest vendor at any time considering that it was added to the menu in 1984—Blimpie has franchised locations in procuring malls, comfort shops, sports activities arenas, and hospitals that provide almost everything from paninis to salads.

Tony Conza, Peter DeCarlo, and Angelo Bandassare achieved at their Jersey City significant university, Saint Peter’s Prep, and the 3 buddies imagined that Hoboken required a submarine sandwich store. Following borrowing $2000 from a businessman mate, they opened the initial Blimpie keep in Hoboken, N.J. on May well 16, 1964.

Conza and his friends didn’t want to name their store just after subs or hoagies, the generic conditions for sandwiches. Instead, Conza looked via a dictionary setting up with “A,” and realized that the word “blimp” visually represented the form and huge size of his sandwiches.

In 1965, Bandassare made the decision to leave Blimpie, but Conza and DeCarlo continued on without having him, offering Blimpie franchises in the northeast and mid-Atlantic. In 1976, Conza required to broaden into the South, but DeCarlo didn’t. The two mates resolved to split their company in two, with Conza in charge of the primary Blimpie corporation and DeCarlo in regulate of a new organization, termed Metropolitan Blimpie.

In the early 1980s, Conza resolved to diversify his company. In 1984, he opened Border Café, a cafe serving Mexican foods and beverages in Manhattan. In 1986, he opened two much more Border Cafés in New York but dropped a great deal of funds. Conza later on admitted that Border Café was a substantial slip-up due to the fact he invested fewer time, energy, and income on Blimpie. For the duration of this time, Blimpie competitor Subway expanded throughout the country, leaving Blimpie on critically shaky fiscal floor.

blimpie cafe

In 1988, Conza shut the Border Café dining establishments, concentrating all his energies on Blimpie. He admitted that Subway did an helpful career introducing Americans to submarine sandwiches, but he set a purpose to get Blimpie sandwiches into the mouths of much more individuals. To do this, Conza delegated working day-to-day running to his senior staff members, visited franchisees to get a greater feeling of their issues, and executed plans to improve staff morale and thoroughly clean up filthy Blimpie shops in New York. Also, Blimpie released lower calorie menu choices, like tuna, turkey, crab, and gourmet salads. Conza’s technique labored, and Blimpie’s gross sales have been up to $120 million in 1990.

In 1993, Blimpie had 670 places and was a publicly traded business on NASDAQ. Blimpie concentrated on promoting and advertising as a way to raise the share of new franchises that have been thriving. The “Simply Blimpie for fresh new-sliced subs” tag line appeared on Television, radio, and print commercials, and the chain acquired a good deal of monitor-time and mentions on community and quiz shows as perfectly.

Mainly because much less individuals ended up purchasing cigarettes, convenience outlets essential an option way to make money. So, by the mid-1990s, Blimpie franchises began opening inside of advantage suppliers. Blimpie had reduced startup fees and didn’t need a completely geared up kitchen, which created it an desirable rapidly-food option for advantage stores. The chain also opened in other nontraditional venues like hospitals, university campuses, and athletics stadiums, and clients could obtain Blimpie sandwiches from vending devices. In 1995, Blimpie experienced extra than 1000 destinations.

In the late 1990s, Blimpie Intercontinental, Inc. diversified and expanded with the addition of Maui Tacos, Smoothie Island, and Pasta Central. In 1997, Blimpie obtained a managing stake in Maui Tacos, a rapid-foods chain in Hawaii that served a fusion of Mexican and Hawaiian foodstuff. Blimpie opened Maui Tacos areas in the continental U.S., and started off Smoothie Island, a Maui Tacos offshoot, in 1998. The following calendar year, Blimpie opened Pasta Central, a co-branded cafe that permitted Blimpie to make money promoting pasta and pizza for supper.


In 2001, Blimpie was losing profits and required to make a transform. A non-public financial commitment team acquired Blimpie for $25.7 million, and Conza stepped down from his CEO responsibilities, starting to be an advisor in 2002. A different change transpired in 2006 when a franchising corporation identified as Kahala Corp. purchased Blimpie. In the ten years concerning 2001 and 2011, Blimpie struggled as it shut above a thousand outlets, and its profits went down by much more than 60 p.c.

Regardless of the retail store closures, Blimpie celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014, presenting 50-cent subs at all locations to the initially number of hundred shoppers. The Jersey Town, New Jersey Blimpie shop produced a 50-foot sandwich, donating all proceeds to a regional chapter of Boys & Girls Club of America. The mayor of Jersey Metropolis was also on hand to current Conza with a proclamation celebrating Blimpie’s 50 many years in business enterprise.

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