Began with a Bite: Local business owners celebrate Father’s Day year-round

It all started with a bite.

“We ordered the sandwich and we both agreed that if we liked the sandwich, we’ll do it. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t.”

And the rest is history.

“She had the Spicy Cajun Chicken and I had the Hook n’ Ladder. We both loved the sandwiches so that was the reason we got into it knowing that it would sell well in Alexandria and providing a good product to the community.”

Firehouse Subs holds a home in 47 states, but the one in Alexandria has a different touch.

Calvin Hodges along with his two children, Heather and Brian, were on a business venture to own a restaurant.

Brian raved about the product in Georgia and once Calvin and Heather were impressed, they jumped in full force.

“We wanted to get together for something and we were looking at a couple different options, then we finally selected Firehouse Subs. We then went to Jacksonville, Florida and met with the CEO there and he agreed that we’d be good candidates for this operation.”

Calvin, a former Air Force pilot, has traveled the world but the family settled in Alexandria in 1984.

So bringing the family business to their community over a year ago has been beyond rewarding.

“It’s amazing. It’s really unreal to have a business in a town that’s been so welcoming. Just the faces that come in and getting to know these customers by first name has been a real treat.”

Calvin and Heather agree that the experience of owning a family business and seeing it grow over time has simply been gratifying.

“Getting to work with Heather and Brian on occasion has been an experience that is enriching. We’ve enjoyed it very much.”

“I’ve been very fortunate to work alongside my father and brother for the last year and over the course of the time we’ve learned that family is what’s really important. and I can always count on him (Calvin) to be there and to lend  hand. It’s all hands on deck.”

In recent times during the spread of the Coronavirus, thankfully, Firehouse wasn’t forced to close. But, they did experience lower sales.

During this time as things are picking back up, Heather says that they’ve had to keep their strength and lean on each other.

“It has been challenging the last couple of months and we have had to lean on each other. Our staff has been wonderful and we couldn’t do it without them. Just keep working hard and good things will come.”