Business still expanding

YOUNG North Devon businessmen Harvey Brown and Matt Symons could be said to be on a roll. The two Torridge farmers sons have given up agriculture, but are still putting food on the table for an increasing number of people. The 28-year-olds have just op

YOUNG North Devon businessmen Harvey Brown and Matt Symons could be said to be "on a roll."The two Torridge farmers' sons have given up agriculture, but are still putting food on the table for an increasing number of people.The 28-year-olds have just opened their sixth Subway fast food outlet next to Tesco in Barnstaple, on the third anniversary of opening their first. They now employ 60 people.Harvey from Buckland Brewer and Matt from Beaford have been friends since their teenage years.Their switch from agriculture to a business partnership in fast food had its roots in Canada and the USA.Harvey was studying for an agricultural and business degree in Canada when he first came across Subway and when his economics lecturer commented on the rapidly growing business it planted a seed in his mind.This further developed when he and Matt drove across America and couldn't help but notice the spread of Subway across the States."We kept seeing it and eating a lot of it," said Matt.IndependentThey liked what they saw and tasted and, three years ago, opened a franchise shop of their own in Cross Street, Barnstaple.Since then have followed others in Bideford, Ilfracombe, Tiverton and Torquay - and on Monday they opened their second Barnstaple outlet at Tesco's.Although a Subway franchise, each outlet is run as an independent business, said Harvey, who is also captain of Bideford Rugby Club.."The success of the first outlet has helped to build the others. They have been very good for us," he said. "They are keeping us very busy." So far, the credit crunch had not really affected them, said Matt. "We are still showing good sales in what is a resilient sector, with a core market of younger people 16-32 years, although we have customers of all ages. We all know that anything could happen, but at the moment the future looks bright." The trademark "submarine" rolls are all cooked fresh daily and this could be watched by customers, he said.


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