By Alexis Mason; Spokeology
On the corner of West Broad Street and North Meeting street in downtown Statesville, North Carolina rests a culinary staple within a bustling community. Any true Statesvillian knows that the restaurant Sub Express is synonymous with two things: downtown Statesville and home.
In 1980 Sub Express, owned by Marion and Frances Fairey, opened its doors as the first sub shop in the city. Over the years the business gained a new owner, Larry Johnson, and in 2008 was purchased by current owner Andrea Faw. Although numerous years have passed since 1980, many things at the sub shop remain the same, and on Saturday, June 13, 2020 they celebrate 40 years of business in the downtown area.
Celebrating a 40th business anniversary is no small feat. As businesses have come and gone throughout the years, Sub Express has weathered the storm to become a staple hotspot in the downtown landscape.
“The key to our success has been our ability to adapt over the years… introducing items such as our infamous pasta salad,” Faw states. “We also stick to what we know works, for example keeping all of our ingredients fresh.”
Faw describes that, “Both of the previous owners created a basis for a very good product. They were then able to turn a good product into a great product. They were not afraid to take chances.” Sub Express’ most popular dish is their exquisite pasta salad and their best-selling sub is “The Express”. This sub, along with the majority of their menu, is made of fresh ingredients including ham, salami, bologna, turkey, pepper ham, pepperoni, and cheese.
What’s even more impressive is the family-owned appeal of the establishment, despite none of the owners being directly related. If one were to take a walk around the restaurant, they would find multiple pieces of original memorabilia, such as original menus and photographs, hung up on the walls. Andrea Faw explained that she has been closely involved with Sub Express since 1985, and over the course of many years, was able to learn much about the business from her close relationship with the previous owners; so much so that she considers them family.
“The previous owners taught me a lot about their business model, which was solid. They are absolutely like family to me,” says Faw. “I always had a feeling I was going to purchase the business… it was just a matter of time.”
Lastly, Faw attributes the success of Sub Express to the people of Statesville. She explains that their customers have always supported them throughout the years, and consistency in clientele and the menu have helped to keep them running. The establishment has many regulars, which have their order ready before they can even make it to the counter Faw explains.
“People bring in their kids, who bring in their kids, and the torch is continuously passed on,” according to Faw. “Through that, you get to know your customers in a really special way, and we will forever be thankful to them for their business and support.”
“We are extremely thankful that Marion and Frances Fairey chose to open Sub Express in Downtown Statesville back in 1980. Forty years and three different owners later says something about the quality of the business and the business owners that have succeeded each other. Said Marin Tomlin, Executive Director Downtown Statesville Development Corporation. “I can say from personal experience that their pasta salad is known across the region. When attending any kind of get together, I’m the first one to offer to bring their (I mean…my) pasta salad!”