Business Investments Succeed in the East

Subway owner seizes opportunity in East New Orleans



Cheryl Gerber

Written by Frank Etheridge
 

While some only perceived devastation shortly after Hurricane Katrina, Greg Jacob saw great potential in East New Orleans. He seized the opportunity to bring a successful and health conscious franchise to the area.

“After the storm, I had some money saved,” Jacobs recalls as he drives to a Friday night football game, being the athletic director at George Washington Carver Collegiate Academy.

“I knew I wanted to invest in a new business venture, but it took me a while to determine what I wanted to invest in. I was looking in areas all over the metro area, which was wide open at that point, but the area I was really looking was in the East. It was a new frontier for me, as I grew up on the West Bank, even though I remember it as a child as a booming place, especially during the ‘80s. I thought, ‘Wow! The East is a place that could really bounce back — there’s so much land, so much opportunity.”

Jacob’s path towards owning multiple Subway sandwich shop franchises in the East began when he responded to an ad in the newspaper looking for investors. He explains that he was “blown away by what all Subway had to offer” during the interview process, took a test, and soon afterward completed training in Connecticut. Once back in his native New Orleans, Jacob and his wife began scouting for a location in the East. With the area still reeling from a lack of businesses back up and running following Katrina, Jacob says the couple was “happy and excited” to find a spot in a strip center with a couple of other businesses in operation. Jacob’s first Subway opened in February 2006, and his business has been growing ever since.

Over the course of the next 10 years, Jacob’s investment grew into ownership of four Subway franchises in the East. This past September he sold two of his franchises, now holding two: one located inside the Wal-Mart Supercenter at 6000 Bullard Ave., open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and the other located at 5761 Bullard Ave.

Considering that today East New Orleans by itself would rank as the sixth largest city in Louisiana, Jacob’s prediction about the vast potential the area held back in 2005-06 is shown by population figures alone. The East is predicted to surge from an estimated 26 growth in population between 2010, when the United States Census counted 64,310 residents, and 2020. This growth rate is above that over metro New Orleans region as a whole. “I’ve seen that population jump personally,” Jacob explains, “and, put simply, I opened up four Subways in the East because of that population jump.”

Beyond this growth in the number of residents — and, by extension, the number of customers — Jacob reports a shift in consumer attitudes as also driving the success he’s found in his investment.

“When I started, it was just us and a McDonald’s,” he says. “But the East has become really health conscious. The hospital is back, and workers in the medical community tend to be more aware of their health and healthy eating habits. Planet Fitness moved in two years ago, so we now have two fitness centers in business, both doing well in terms of member enrollment. People now know that healthy living means healthy eating. Given that, and given the healthy food choices we offer, I see Subway being a major player in the redevelopment of the East.”
 


Subway

5961 Bullard Ave #1
New Orleans, La., 70128
504-241-1293
 
Walmart, 6000 Bullard Ave #801
New Orleans, La., 70128
504-246-7999

 

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