By Ricky O’Bannon
For Bryan & Mia Whitfield, doing what you love means getting into the business of sandwiches.
Stillwater was once home to the sandwich chain Schlotzsky’s, and Bryan said he and his wife fell in love with the brand. Once it closed, that wouldn’t stop the family from driving for an hour or more to satisfy cravings for what he called a very “unique sandwich.”
“We would get the whole family together and drive to the Oklahoma City or Tulsa area for Schlotzsky’s,” Whitfield said.
The couple have lived in Stillwater since 1989 after moving back to the city where they graduated from Oklahoma State University. Earlier this month, the Whitfields signed a franchise agreement with the company to open six Schlotzsky’s stores in Oklahoma, including one in their hometown.
Whitfield said he plans on opening the Stillwater location by the end of 2012 before later opening stores in Owasso, Enid, Lawton, Bartlesville and Ardmore.
The Stillwater location has a tri-branding deal, meaning it will also offer Cinnabon products and Carvel, an ice cream brand that has traditionally been offered on the East Coast.
“That allows us three draws instead of one,” he said. “You’ve got folks who are very passionate about Cinnabon who might be introduced to Schlotzsky’s for the first time and (vice versa).”
Whitfield said the location of the store is still being finalized. The restaurant will employ approximately 45 people in Stillwater.
After word got out about the chain coming back, Whitfield said, he’s heard from a number of people who told him they were happy to see Schlotzsky’s in Stillwater again.
“We weren’t the only ones who had a passion for the sandwich, ” he said. “We’re obviously very excited at the response so far, and we’re very excited to bring this to Stillwater.”
Source: Stillwater NewsPress