BY LEANN DILBECK –
Vicki Stanley has officially announced the sale of her two Subway restaurants (Hwy 71 South & Walmart) in Mena to Wendy Shoffit and Jay & Jana Wiese. Stanley was the first to bring the franchise to Mena in 1991 and said that after 25 years, she’s ready to retire.
Stanley said the decision was somewhat an emotional one because of the connections and relationships that she has built in the community since relocating to Mena from California. Stanley explained that her husband, Ray, became very ill three years ago and she is his primary caregiver. She said along with that, and wanting to spend more time with grandbabies, she knew the time was right. “It’s bittersweet. This has been my life! I didn’t even know anybody when we moved here from California and because of this place [Subway] I got to know and serve this community. It’s just been wonderful… and I can’t thank the community enough for all of their support.”
Stanley said that the decision was made a bit easier by getting to know the Wieses and Shoffit. They have owned and operated a Subway franchise in Waldron for the last 2 ½ years and were looking to expand. Jana and Wendy are sisters so it, too, is a family owned operation with Jana being the “boots on the ground” and Wendy handling all of the behind the scenes of the operation. Stanley said it “just clicked” as the two families began discussing the possible sale and discovered that their business philosophy, standards and views of serving the community were very similar.
Dale Wherry from Subway Corporate who has worked with the two families through the deal agreed. “Their personalities were a good fit. They have the same high goals for their business. They share the same commitment, drive and passion for the people end of this business and to be ‘on top’ of everything in their business.” said Wherry. He added that it’s very common within Subway for families to own and operate multiple stores. “Subway is a very community business.”
“To us, it’s all about the community,” added Shoffit. She said that they plan to add WiFi for their customers and kiosks. They plan to merge with what Stanley has built, but incorporate additional technology such as online ordering, paying with phone, etc.
Hours will be the same but they do plan to host a grand re-opening in early December.
For Stanley, she’s looking forward to watching the continued success of Subway now that she has entrusted it to another community-focused family, all the while enjoying retired living!