JVG Restaurant Group, LLC of St. Albans is opening two new Subway restaurants in Bridgeport – where JVG owner Gentry Vass lives with her husband Jason and their kids Sadie, Brooks, Millie, and Kent.
“My family has been in Subway for a long time. I grew up in the Huntington area where my dad and his brother were in Subway together. Their office was based out of St. Albans,” Vass said. “At one point, they owned 20 stores all over the state. My dad came to Fairmont and started developing more stores in this area. When it came time for him to retire, my husband and I purchased the stores from him.”
The two new Subway locations will be 1219 Johnson Avenue and East Main Street in the shopping plaza which houses Price Cutter and The Dollar Tree.
“We’re thrilled about it because we have four children – our oldest getting closer to working age. It’s wonderful to have the opportunity for them to work with friends and for us to support our kids’ ball teams and dance groups through our family business. That’s not something we’ve been able to do too much in our other locations,” Vass said.
“Bridgeport could use more Subways for sure and we’re excited to be able to do that in our hometown. It’s a blessing for us to serve the community.”
The Vass family currently operates eight Subway stores in West Virginia – Kingwood, Reedsville, Westover, Farmington, Glenville, Harrisville, Sistersville, and New Martinsville. The Bridgeport stores will bring their total to 10.
“We purchased seven stores from my dad in 2015 and we just purchased the New Martinsville store this past February,” Vass said.
The Johnson Avenue store is in the building owned by Dr. Jeffrey Browning /Total Dental and which also houses Stonewall Coffee. This is the second Subway to be located in the building. Vass said she knew of the previous franchisee and that the store had closed, seeing an opportunity to open her Subway in the same location. That store should open in August, Vass said.
“The Main Street store will take a little longer because it’s a buildout,” she said. “It should be open by the end of the year, but hopefully sooner. Everything is affected by labor shortages and delivery dates not being what they’re supposed to be.”
The East Main Street store, which is deep and has high ceilings, will make for a great location.
“We’re excited about it. It will be really pretty and have the new Subway look. We tried to make it look a little bit different than what we’re used to with Subway,” Vass said. “Within the Subway umbrella, you have some choices. The seating will be a little different and it will have all the new Subway décor with a light, bright feel to it.”
Vass said she worked through high school at the Huntington Subway and so did her husband.
“We met in high school and as soon as we started seeing each other, my dad put that store in,” she said. “When we went to college at Marshall University, my husband was assistant manager, working 40 to 45 hours per week at the store. “It builds experience. We’ve worked all different aspects of the business and it’s really helpful as owners.”
Vass said she and Jason have been blessed with great staff.
“Our managers at other stores are wonderful and they will be coming to help us get these two stores open,” she said. “Stores come and go, but we want to make sure we provide the best experience we can for people, to be sustainable and stick around. We want this to be a family business while the kids are growing and beyond. We’re invested in making this something great.”