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What`s in a name?

Mom’s absence doesn’t slow
down business at sub shop

David and Darla Melton joke about the identity of “Mom” of Mom’s Sub Shop on Dave Warlick Drive.
“Depending on what mood I’m in, sometimes I’ll tell people it’s me,” David says. “They’ll freak out.”
Other times Darla accepts the name of Mom. But the true title belongs to Evelyn Apgar, who opened the business more than 15 years ago.
The popular shop was located on East Main Street in the shopping center with Eckerd Drug and Winn-Dixie.
David and Darla bought the business seven years ago. David still remembers the specifics of the purchase. He had worked in restaurants all his life and was considering buying one to run. He searched the Sunday paper and saw a business listed.
“I thought, well, I’ll give it a holler and see what happens,” says David.
The prospective buyer was shocked when he met with the broker and found out that the business was local, and that it was Mom’s Sub Shop.
“It just floored me,” he says. “I didn’t know it was Mom’s Sub Shop up for sale. We’d been eating here for years.”
It didn’t take long for the Meltons to get the hang of things behind the counter. Apgar stayed on for about a month to coach them and share her recipe secrets.
The biggest change the Meltons made came three years ago when they moved out of the old shopping center to their new location. David says it was one of the smartest decisions they’ve made.
“It’s been incredible. Sales have doubled,” he says. “There’s more space, and the location is better.”
The menu at Mom’s has remained basically the same — excluding the addition of a few salads and dressings.
They’ve tried a few new things, “but we typically go back to the original recipes,” Dave says. “They’re great recipes.”
David and Darla say they’ve been happy to inherit the business and the title of Mom’s. They’ve never considered changing the name.
“The presence in town is unbelievable, kind of like City Lunch,” he says.
David says he and his wife aren’t looking to retire any time soon, but he hopes when they do someone from the community will step up to be the next heir of the shop.
“There’s no reason for this restaurant to ever close.”
Mom’s Sub Shop, 107 Dave Warlick Dr., is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 704-735-1840.by Diane Turbyfill

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