By Per Peterson
When Tom and Sue Morin bought the Mediterranean Club in 1990, they knew changes were imminent. Some 28 years later, while the building is basically the same, what’s inside has undergone more than one change and the latest is the most personal one.
After nearly 21 years of owning and operating the Tracy Subway, the Morins have decided to sell the popular restaurant to a young couple more than ready to take the reigns.
“It will be a lifestyle change for us, but it’s time,” Tom said Tuesday.
When they opened Subway, the couple already owned the Mediterranean Club, and also ran a video store and ice cream shop. However, they knew they had to adapt and look long-term when it came to what they were providing to the community.
“We were looking for opportunities to develop this space and add on to what the Mediterranean Club was — we needed something that would cover breakfast and lunches,” Tom said. “We evaluated several different business opportunities and decided that Subway would be hopefully a smart move.”
Changes at the Med Club included a shift to more of a sports bar atmosphere in the early 1990s after the couple noticed a shift in demographics. They added on a game room and brought in pool league teams to create a relaxed, sports-type atmosphere. But profits eventually began to lag, and the Morins made the difficult decision in 2005 to close the supper club. By that time, Tom said, the Subway restaurant was outperforming the Med Club.
“Subway was paying the bills of the Med,” Tom said. “At that point, I’m thinking, ‘This is not sustainable,’ so we made the really hard decision to close.”
They also temporarily closed Subway during that time of transition. Once they opened, “the regulars all came back,” Sue said.
What has made the Tracy Subway such a success? Tom, who works for Subway Development, said it’s not about the decor or what color the walls are or how the tables are set up, it’s about customer service and caring about the business and their customers.
“Sue has been very dedicated to being here almost every day, overseeing every little detail that goes into making a great sandwich,” Tom said. “We’re very proud of our store and very proud of our bread. People comment all the time: ‘We come here because you have the best bread around.’ And we enjoy the customers.”
For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.