One month, 24 Subway restaurants. Ten thousand kilometres and an untold number of tuna melts.
That was a typical month at work for Shounak “Roop” Chakroborty, who just finished his seventh and last year as a travelling consultant for B.C.’s Subway restaurant franchise.
Now, with partners Mohinder “Max” Verma and Kayla Cherry, Chakroborty is set to settle down a while.
The three are going to open a Subway restaurant in Houston at the end of October. The restaurant will open at which will open in the old Movie Gallery location at 11th and Copeland Avenue.
Chakroborty said he got the idea when he was criss-crossing B.C. to check in on other Subway franchises.
“Every time I crossed Houston at 8 or 9 p.m., there was nothing to eat,” he said. He would have to keep driving to the Subway in Smithers, he said, or else stop for a burger at the Burns Lake A&W.
When it opens, the Houston Subway may close as late as midnight and open as early as 5 a.m. Chakroborty said they are still working out the exact times, but their goal is to keep the restaurant open as local sawmill workers come in from their shifts.
Chakroborty said friends of his work at a mill and live in Prince George sometimes end up buying fast food at a gas station because there are no other quick eats around.
Chakroborty, Verma and Cherry all started as “sandwich artists,” assembling subs behind one of Subway’s fast-moving order counters.
Chakroborty said that experience has helped them as owners. The three already took over the Smithers location together in 2009.
“When you have seen both sides of the fence, you know exactly what to do and what not to do,” he said.
“I make every sandwich from the point of view that it’s my sandwich,” said Verma, who is also famous among his colleagues for braiding the bacon on certain subs.
“It’s something different,” said Chakroborty.
The trio also plan to show off a different look at the Houston Subway, which will feature leather couches and a fireplace.
“It’s not the same old Subway,” he said. “I wanted people to feel at home.”