Gardnerville resident takes on three Subway shops

Subway employees Parker Procaccini, left, and Savanna Blair with new restaurant owner Levi Jenkins at the South Carson Street Subway on July 28.

Subway employees Parker Procaccini, left, and Savanna Blair with new restaurant owner Levi Jenkins at the South Carson Street Subway on July 28.
Photo by Scott Neuffer.

By 11:30 a.m. on July 28, the lunch rush had hit the Subway sandwich shop at 3959 S. Carson St. A line of customers nearly extended to the entrance. As quickly as they came, the customers were gone, sandwiches in hand. For a young entrepreneur who just bought the business, such foot traffic is a good sign.

“We bought the first one on Topsy in October of last year,” said store owner and Gardnerville Ranchos resident Levi Jenkins, “and we fell in love and wanted to expand and were able to buy this one and the one in Gardnerville a week and a half ago.”

Jenkins now owns three Subway franchises with his business partner, JT Blake. They run one in Carson and two in Douglas County, one in Clear Creek Plaza and one in Gardnerville. Having grown up in Johnson Lane, Jenkins said he’s always had an entrepreneurial mindset, trying out new businesses from a young age, both failing and succeeding. At 29, he now splits his time between the Subway shops, real estate and construction. Besides Subway, he’s partners with Blake in a general contracting firm called BlueStar.

“So real estate, I’ve always been interested in since I was 14 years old,” Jenkins said.

However, he and Blake wanted to diversify economically. When they found a Subway shop for sale, they jumped on it.

“It’s been fun,” Jenkins said. “There’s been a lot to learn — definitely a learning curve when trying to get into a restaurant without that background.”

Jenkins said doing research, the partners liked that Subway corporate had a third-party group, the Marwaha Group, to assist franchise owners on sales and customer service.

“They have franchise business development coaches that will come out to each one (location) and work with the owners,” Jenkins said. “If I have an issue, I call them.”

Jenkins described how foot traffic at the South Carson and Gardnerville stores is comparable, but the location off Topsy Lane suffers a bit from being tucked away.

“We’re going to stick with these right now,” he said of the three locations. “We definitely want to grow and expand and get more stores and give back to the community.”

With roots in the region, Jenkins said he would like to be more involved. The Subway shops currently offer discounts for first responders and cater lunches at Sierra Lutheran High School once a week during the school year.

Jenkins said in his experience with the restaurants so far, the most important thing is customer service.

“Honestly, take care of the customer,” he said. “There’s a whole bunch of, you know, the back-end safety stuff you got to do, but it’s all geared toward making sure the customer is safe and protected.”

The three shops combined have 23 employees, Jenkins said.

“I love it. I like coming in and jumping in the line and making sandwiches and just joking with the customers,” he said.

Jenkins laughed about his favorite sandwich on the menu being “the Boss,” which is full of meatballs, pepperoni and mozzarella.

“I love marinara sauce,” he said.

Later, behind the counter with employees, he was similarly enthused by the franchise’s Italian herbs and cheese bread.

“It’s the best bread ever,” he exclaimed.

His youthful exuberance hasn’t come without setbacks. Entrepreneurship is challenging, Jenkins said.

“It’s not easy, but it’s worth it: the long nights, the stress, trying to make sure everything works out and even when it doesn’t work out, having to figure out how to make it work out,” he said. “It’s stressful, but it’s fun and rewarding, knowing that you’re helping people out and giving them a job and helping the community. When they leave your store, they’re in a better mood than when they walked in. It makes it all worth it.”

The Subway shops are located at 3959 S. Carson St. in Eagle Station, 3790 Highway 395, Suite 409, in Clear Creek Plaza and at 1328 Main St., Suite 101, in Gardnerville's Park Place at Lampe Corners.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment