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Catching the "Subway" to Success

South Carolina Business Review logo

Nearly 40 years ago, our next guest, an Iranian immigrant, brought the Subway brand sandwich business to South Carolina with its first location in the Upstate.  That success gave him the confidence to try bringing his Persian heritage to the local food scene with a new restaurant and 12 years later, it’s still there and growing.

Mike Switzer interviews Ali Saifi, owner of Pomegranate on Main in Greenville, SC and CEO and president of Subway Development Corporation of South Carolina.

After almost 20 years, Mike Switzer retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager. In 1999, he and his wife, Maggie, purchased and operated for eight years the Baskin Robbins ice cream store on Forest Drive in Columbia. They grew the store from a bottom-tier operation in the Baskin Robbins franchise system to one in the top 5% nationwide within three years, tripling sales along the way. While operating the ice cream store, Mike and Maggie received patents for a portable ice cream sink and fold-down sneezeguard they invented and in 2002 started Magnolia Carts, an ice cream cart manufacturing company, which they sold in 2013.