Blimpie of Utah



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

Jack and Yolanda Bagley and their son Ron thought they had made a big mistake back in the early '80s after investing in a chain of sandwich shops. As the franchise owners of several hot dog restaurants in Utah, they knew the fast-food business. By their account, the four Blimpie restaurants they had opened in 1976 didn't seem to be doing well.

But the Blimpie concept was a good idea and the company had succeeded in the East. It had begun in 1964 in Hoboken, New Jersey. The founders believed in serving up the finest quality meats, cheese and toppings on freshly baked bread right in front of the customer. With just $2,000, they put their theory to the test, and in little more than 10 years, they had expanded to some 200 stores throughout New Jersey and New York.

The Bagleys had learned of the deli chain through an acquaintance. Before investing in the franchise, they knew they had to try the sandwiches for themselves. They went to New York, sampled the sandwiches and as Ron says, "fell in love with the taste."

So, the Bagleys wondered why the stores weren't doing well. But they didn't give any thoughts to giving up. And before long, things began to turn around. People became concerned with good health and eating right. Blimpie became the place to go as its sandwiches were lower in fat and cholesterol than many other fast-food items.

Well, today, Blimpie subs can be purchased around the world, and the Bagley family now oversees 50 stores-37 in Utah; three in Southeastern Idaho; and 10 in Oregon. Another son, Steve, owns his own Blimpie store in the ZCMI Center Mall in Salt Lake.

The Bagleys and their company act as a liaison between Blimpie International, Inc. and the franchisees. They continue to sell and develop new franchisees and provide national, regional and local advertising as well as marketing programs and ongoing training. And as Blimpie has grown and expanded, it also has expanded its menu. Along with 27 kinds of subs, the restaurant also serves tortilla wraps, soups, salads and will soon add a variety of grilled Italian panini subs. So, I salute the Bagleys; their belief in Blimpie and their determination.

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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