Frederick A. “Fred” DeLuca, born on October 3, 1947 and died September 14, 2015 from leukemia, he was an American businessman, best known as the co-founder of the Subway franchise of sandwich shops.
Fred DeLuca was born in Brooklyn, New York, on October 3, 1947 to Italian American parents Carmela and Salvatore DeLuca.
At the age of 10, Fred moved to Amsterdam, New York, where he and his family became friends with Peter Buck.
Once in his teens, he moved with his family to Bridgeport, Connecticut.
After succeeding in his business, Fred realized his dream to go to college and graduated from the University of Bridgeport.
Fred was a 1965 graduate of Central High School in Bridgeport, Connecticut
In 1965, 17-year-old Fred borrowed $1,000 from family friend Dr. Peter Buck.
This was after Buck suggested the idea to help DeLuca make money for college to study medicine.
Fred’s plan was to begin a “fast-food venture that provided a healthful, less fattening bill of fare”.
On the radio advertisement they had promoted the name as “Pete’s Submarines,” which sounded like Pizza Marines, so they changed the name to “Pete’s Subway.”
Eventually in 1968, it was shortened to “Subway” as it is known today.
The first shop opened on August 28, 1965 at a mediocre location in the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut.
The first year of business was a learning experience and a challenge.
A year later they opened their second location, having realized that visibility and marketing were key factors to success.
Fred believed that the biggest mistake he made was where he set up his very first shop as it was a “crummy location.”
The third outlet was in a highly visible location and that location is still there today.
In 1978, Subway’s 100th store opened, and reached the 1,000 store mark in 1987.
Explosive growth continued with Subway opening 1,100 units in 1993 alone.
By comparison, McDonald’s opened 800 that same year.
As of June 2013, the company counts 39,500 franchised locations worldwide and produces US $9.05 billion sales every year.
In 2007, Forbes magazine named DeLuca number 242 of the 400 richest Americans with a net worth of $1.5 billion.
Today, Subway is one of the most popular chain food vendors.
Fred and Peter Buck also partnered to create Franchise Brands in an effort to assist other entrepreneurs in replicating their success in the franchise industry.
He died at age 67 on September 14, 2015.