When Stephanie and Cole Kindl met at Subway in 2011, they likely had no idea of the life they would eventually build together, with the help of the business.
Stephanie, a lifelong Hillsborough native, began working at the restaurant located on 129 N Scottswood Blvd in Hillsborough in 2007. Cole, who was born in Canada and moved to North Carolina in 2004 when he was in sixth grade, was hired by the store in 2011.
Eight years later, the two are married with a child and new owners of the restaurant that helped them build a life together.
“It’s been our dream to be business owners and now that it’s finally happened it’s a dream come true and we look forward to just investing in the business, growing the business and future prospects,” Stephanie said.
The two began joking about owning a bakery together soon after they met. As the years went by and they moved up the ladder at Subway, eventually taking on management roles, their plan altered.
According to Cole, the discussion soon became, “Why don’t we just own a Subway?”
As luck would have it, the owner of their Subway franchise began discussing retirement, and the couple became serious about investing time and money into the operation in 2018.
“It just took a year because Subway has strict requirements for their franchisee owners so you have to go through rigorous training and that took about 11 months as well, just the whole process from start to finish,” Stephanie said.
During that time, the couple received a loan from a bank and began gearing up to take over the business.
Finally, on July 31, the ownership changed hands.
The couple said that their ownership has already been well received by members of the community.
“The community has already been excited, they’ve known about the new ownership coming,” Stephanie said. “They’ve known us for a while, we’ve been managing the store, so they were excited already. Now that we’re owners, our very loyal customers are already aware and they’re just really excited.”
Although the two have not been owners of the restaurant for even a month, they already have multiple goals in place.
The two have been members of the community for many years, and they want their business to be a part of the community, too. They also want to make sure they invest in their employees.
“Investing in your staff is really important,” Stephanie said. “We’ve made strides so far to do that, and just putting back into the business so that our guests are taken care of and they feel like we are a part of the community. So far those are our goals.”
With the new ownership firmly in place, Stephanie and Cole have other big plans ahead, including a grand opening on Aug. 26 where customers can get a free sub with the purchase of another sub and a 20-ounce drink.
“We will be doing a promotion deal to get everybody in the door,” Stephanie said. “Awareness that we’re the new owners and we’re part of the community now.”
They also plan to invest more time in bigger picture plans, including a store remodel and community outreach.
“We plan to reach out to more schools and get into the community now that we have the time to step out, as opposed to being day-to-day managers,” Cole said. “We’re going to take advantage of our surroundings here in Hillsborough.”
In just eight years the couple has certainly left a mark at the Subway, turning it into a family business in the Hillsborough community that will continue to flourish as Stephanie and Cole invest more time in it.