Pat Bassler always wanted to own a restaurant.
It was the late 1980s and the Subway franchise was just starting to expand. Pat’s wife, Patty, had noticed the new sandwich franchise had just opened a location next to her work place.
“And I told him, ‘I think I found your restaurant,” Patty Bassler said.
The Trenton couple went to go share a sandwich, and Pat took home a napkin with the 800 number that would lead the Basslers to be one in the first 5,000 franchises with a shop in Highland. On April 25, 1987, the store had its grand opening located at 2661 Northtown Way.
Patty said the couple would learn that owning a business was a lot of hard work, with many days that lasted until 2 a.m. Back when the store first opened, everything had to be done by hand. Meats did not come sliced. The Basslers, assisted by Pat’s sister Jenny, would slice large roasts for their sandwiches. All of the cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, and onions also needed slicing, alongside bread that was baked early in the morning.
“Glitches happen, but all in all, the Lord blessed us, and we’ve had great employees that do a great job,” Patty said.
Patty said their business always tries to start their customer’s experience with a smile.
“The smile you give one of your customers might be the only the smile they get today,” Patty said.
In 2015, Pat and Patty’s daughter, Connie Lihs, decided to take over the family business. With her 15 years of experience as the Subway manager, she went on to ace Subway School, two weeks of lessons and hands-on training used to groom the next round of the franchise owners.
“It was pretty intense,” Connie said. “Even with 15 years experience.”
Now Connie and her husband David run the store. Patty said Connie carries on the philosophies she learned from her parents, and strives to provide the best products that Subway can offer.
“Do I enjoy it? Yes,” Connie said. “I love my customers. We have so many regulars. I’ve got a really good staff. It’s stressful but I enjoy it.”
The Highland shop will be celebrating its 30th birthday Aug. 15.
“I think its something to be proud of,” Connie said.
To thank their customers for their support and patronage, the store will be offering a special deal all day. Customer who come in on that Tuesday, who buy a 6-inch sub and 21-ounce drink will get another 6-inch sandwich of equal or lesser value for free. There is no coupon necessary for the deal.