It seemed like a good time to take over a well-known Bonita Springs sub shop. The economy was healthy. The place had a well-known name and style, and proven success. But a lot can change in a month.
"The economy has stopped," Thomas Sattler says. "There’s no other way to describe it. It’s just stopped.”
Sattler's story is part of a series of stories we're telling about small business owners trying to get through the pandemic. We call the series "We're Open Southwest Florida." It's our way to support the business owners as they try to innovate and change what they do, to keep their business going.
Earlier this year, Sattler and his wife bought Stan's Super Subs. It's a bit of a landmark in Bonita Springs.
“It means so much to so many people, it really does,” Sattler says. “People come in and share stories of parties and things like that they attended, where this was the meal at the party. And they remember that party. It’s kind of a nostalgic kind of a place.”
It's been around for decades. Sattler remembers eating there when he was a kid. So buying the shop seemed like a great idea. The Sattlers traveled with their previous jobs and this was an investment that would allow them to stay home. About a week after they opened, people stopped going to restaurants, because of the Coronavirus.
"Kind of bad timing, but we’ve been able to muscle through it.”
Part of that means coming up with new ideas. So the Sattler's are offering curbside take-out, and they've started home delivery. They're also offering to make lunches for children who are out of school and don't have access to food. They have also started a "name of the day" promotion. Every day they post two nameson their Facebook page. If they post your name, you can go in for a free 6-inch sub.
“Sometimes it brightens people's days," Sattler says. "Hey, we’re kind of living in an overcast society at this point. So a little sunshine every once in a while doesn’t hurt.”
And while he tries to weather the storm, he stays as optimistic as possible.
“This isn’t going to last forever, we know there’s an end in sight. You know, just focus on the positives, make sure that your family and your friends are safe.”