The first Sub Station restaurant was opened on Broad Street in Sumter, SC, in May of 1975 by Dominic (Don) Ruffalo and his brothers Charlie & John. They brought with them a wealth of experience and knowledge in the restaurant business. For years their family owned and operated one of the largest, oldest and finest restaurants in New Jersey.
Don & John moved to Sumter and got things started. They chose a location halfway between town and Shaw Air Force Base, because it was as close to the base as they could get. Despite their backgrounds, the Ruffalo brothers were amazed at the success of this small submarine sandwich shop.
Within several months, Don was approached by persons interested in following his example. In January of 1976, the first Sub Station II Franchise Facility was launched in Charleston, SC, and in May and June of that year, two other franchises were chartered: one in downtown Sumter and the other in Columbia, SC. All 3 units are still in operation.
The original plan was to open near military bases, as they knew that’s where the biggest demand was. It was soon apparent that the entire Southeast loved Sub Sandwiches!
Sub Station II’s reputation for good subs quickly spread. From big towns to small, everyone wanted to “Dive into the taste of Sub Station II”. But, rather than roll out new franchises as fast as possible, Don chose to service his existing franchises, ensuring quality and strengthening Sub Station II operations for the long haul.
Once Sub Station II was convinced of its future, it moved ahead cautiously. By the end of 1977, there were thirteen stores in operation or under construction in strategic locations in South Carolina and three in Georgia. These locations helped Sub Station II gain market awareness, build valuable supplier relationships and establish uniform appearance and operational standards. Sub Station II was for real. Since then, several franchisees have purchased additional units, attesting to their confidence in Sub Station II’s future.
For more information about Sub Station II, please visit www.substationii.com.