While Don Johnston was serving in Iraq, there were few touches of home. There were, however, Subway sandwiches. No, really. Under a U.S. Army plan to boost troop morale, the franchiser had opened its sandwich restaurants in American military bases. “I tasted a meatball sub there and it tasted exactly it did over here,” says Johnston. “That impressed me.”
So when Johnston returned from service with the 404th Civil Affairs Battalion, he took the money that he’d saved up and invested it in the business that had impressed him. Last August, he opened Verona’s second Subway franchise at the intersection of Bloomfield and Pompton avenues. That’s just east from Maria Carrozza’s store, Mardi Gras Fine Food, but Carrozza, who also won week 11 of the Where In Verona contest, insists it was just a lucky guess.
As for Johnston, he has now made it his mission to support his new community. He recently spent an afternoon delivering a special lunch to Mrs. Carol Clifford’s fifth grade class at H.B. Whitehorne Middle School after Sierra Gagnon wrote a very convincing letter in her persuasive writing class. “It’s really important to support the schools,” says Johnston, “especially in this time of budget cuts.”
Johnston’s Subway is open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. You can stay on top of everything going on there through his Web site.