Meet Mindy Patel, a Subway® franchisee who owns three restaurants in Connecticut.
She and her husband bought their first franchise 25 years ago from her husband's uncle.
"My husband and I had just had a baby, and she was only 5 months old," Mindy recalls. At the time, they were in New Jersey, where they had lived all their lives. On Thanksgiving Day in 1993, they left their friends and (most of) their family to move to Connecticut to start their new life.
Mindy says she and her husband went into debt to buy the restaurant and borrowed money from family members — but it was worth the effort. "This was for the well-being and future of our family," she says.
When Mindy and her husband moved to Connecticut, her husband's parents moved with them and watched their daughter while they worked.
"My daughter literally grew up in my store," Mindy says. "From kindergarten, the bus used to drop her there."
When she was older, Mindy says her daughter would help them with the restaurants. "She worked for me in the summer and helped out, and she would run the stores if we were out of town," says Mindy.
"Subway has allowed me to put my daughter through college and put her on a path to success," she adds. Today her daughter is a college graduate with a corporate job in New York City.
"Subway has been really good to me. We have made a good life by choosing Subway as a career," Mindy says.
Mindy and her husband went on to buy two more franchises — one in 1996 and the latest in 2010. Today, she runs two restaurants with colleagues who are like family to her.
"They really take care of me," she says, especially over the last year, when her husband had a heart attack and had to cut back his time at the restaurants.
"This last year has been the most challenging year of my life. But my husband is alive and healing, and I pray every day for that to continue."
1. Her fav Subway sandwich: "I’m a vegetarian. I have been my whole life," says Mindy. "I scoop out the bread, add cheese and toast the bread first. Then add spinach, tomato, onion, cucumbers, and jalapenos, plus oil and vinegar and extra cheese."
2. Strangest order she's made: "A footlong tuna with ham and ketchup," she says. "Another is a Subway Club® and Italian B.M.T.® in one sandwich and every sauce we have. He comes often to get it!"
Top Image Credit: Subway®