As a franchise, Firehouse Subs has always prided itself as brand that offers a high-quality product. As franchise owners, however, Nilam Shah and his partners are equally as committed to offering the community of Barrie and surrounding area something more than just great tasting sandwiches.
Since first opening its doors in 2018, the Barrie location of Firehouse Subs has made a strong commitment to not only supporting community causes with product but also actively fundraising and donating to organizations in need. According to Shah, that community commitment is hardwired into the DNA of the Firehouse Subs brand.
“Supporting the local community is something the company recommends,” said Shah, who is part of the family-owned partner group at the Barrie location.
“Before opening the franchise, we went to the U.S. a few times to see what Firehouse was all about. The commitment to fresh food, fresh meats, fresh cheese – all those things made a difference. Then you walk in and see the kind of commitment they have to the community, it made us feel at home.”
The Firehouse Subs commitment to community was galvanized in the early days of the company’s origin.
One of the original franchise owners had donated funds to local fire services to pay for the purchase of Jaws of Life, the hydraulic rescue tools used by firefighters and other emergency rescue personnel.
“As it turned out, the very first accident they were used at involved one of the employees from the restaurant that donated the funds,” said Shah. “It was kind of freaky that they would up being used to save one of their own employees.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Shah said it became more apparent that there was significant benefit to Firehouse Subs to contribute to community causes.
Although the first few weeks of the pandemic were tenuous times for many restaurants and fast food outlets, Shah said he and his partners knew that supporting a community in need was the right thing to do. The local franchise started reaching out to community groups, hospitals, EMS, fire, and police services with donations of food and fundraising opportunities to help with purchases of vital emergency equipment. Through a program that offers customers a chance to round-up their purchase, Firehouse Subs has been able to make substantial donations to the Public Safety Foundation of Canada.
“The things you do as a business do matter,” said Shah. We are thankful for the opportunity we get to donate to this community. If you can help one person, you have achieved something in your life, not just as a business but as a member of the community.”
Visit the Barrie location of Firehouse Subs located at 454 Bayfield Street. Or call 705.721.8881.