Subway cooks with Fremont firmWritten by Scott McKimmy | | email@example.com
A Fremont sauerkraut manufacturer and a Toledo-area Subway franchisee cooked up a new sandwich they hope will satisfy hungry customers throughout the restaurant chain.
The Fremont Company, a 102-year-old maker of Frank’s and SnowFloss sauerkrauts, and Marc Hall, owner of six Subway restaurants, are testing the Southwest Reuben, combining turkey, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and a Southwest-style sauce. His son and a third owner also offer the new sandwich as part of the test program.
“I did have discussions with Subway’s national marketing director two weeks ago and just happened to mention that we’re testing the sandwich, and he was making notes,” Hall said. “The next thing I know, he was calling the Fremont Company, demanding samples so they could work with the turkey Reuben and possibly a regular Reuben.”
Despite the name, Southwest, the availability remains limited to 25 stores in Toledo, Bowling Green, Alvada, Upper Sandusky and Fostoria. But if its popularity shows promise to corporate brass, the Southwest Reuben could become a Subway restaurant regular at every location, according to Hall. Preliminary results have been positive, averaging about 80 subs per store.
“It’s been testing very well, even though this isn’t really our prime season. We’re a little slower than the summer months, he said, referring to sales since the Reuben’s debut in mid-November. “Over the holidays, the sandwich has still proven to be a pretty good seller.”
The idea developed during a food show, where Hall met with a Fremont Company rep, and they discussed the possibility of marrying sauerkraut with turkey. They tracked down a turkey supplier on the spot and created a prototype, which they promptly ate.
“The next thing I know he was calling the Fremont Company, demanding samples so they could work with the turkey Reuben and possibly a regular Reuben.
Hall later served a round of Southwest Reubens to his company’s advertising board of directors, receiving rave reviews as well as the go-ahead to test it locally.
Chris Smith, Fremont Company vice president of marketing, said the Reuben represents a chance to create and maintain jobs and increase demand for cabbage from local farmers. If Subway markets the Reuben nationwide, the Fremont area benefits economically.
“We pull cabbage from approximately 11 local farmers, and all the cabbage comes from within a 30-mile radius of Fremont so, we’ll be needing more tonnage of cabbage to support this program if it does in fact catch on,” he said.
The Fremont Company’s products follow the same recipes used by his great-grandfather, who founded the family business in 1905. Smith’s experience in the industry has led him to understand that not everyone wants to try sauerkraut, which in German means, “sour cabbage.”
“We saw the Reuben sandwich was a great-tasting way for people to try sauerkraut for the folks who’ve never tried it before,” he said. “We’ll talk people into trying it who say they don’t like sauerkraut, and they like the sandwich.”