Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

SEP 2017

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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24 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • SEPTEMBER 2017 a pro you should know Ashley Morris, CEO, Capriotti's Sandwich Shop Inc. By Amelia Levin A fter working as a bank teller and broker by the age of 25, Ashley Morris may have only envisioned a career in finance. But, after brainstorming business ideas with longtime friend Jason Smylie, who was looking to partner as entrepreneurs, he found himself in the restaurant world. The duo became franchisees of one Capriotti's Sandwich Shop in 2004, where they frequently flocked during college at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. They purchased the chain outright in 2008. Since then, Morris has guided the brand as CEO, more than tripling it in size, with plans to open 500 locations nationwide by 2025. FE&S: Tell me about the Capriotti's concept. When was it founded? How many locations? AM: Capriotti's is a 40-year-old heritage brand that has developed a following of raving fans. We were founded in 1976 by Lois Margolet and her brother, Alan. The duo wanted to create an authentic Italian sandwich shop in their hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. Each Capriotti's location roasts whole turkeys every night, roasts beef, makes homemade meatballs and coleslaw, among other items in-house. At the moment we have more than 100 locations across the country, but we have an aggressive growth plan in the works. FE&S: Why did you decide to buy out Capriotti's? AM: From the moment I tried my first Capriotti's sandwich, I was hooked. So much so that my college roommate at the time, Jason Smylie, and myself broke the lease on our apartment building to move closer to a location. Jason and I then decided to buy a franchise location of the restaurant we were so passionate about. I couldn't stop thinking about Capriotti's, so I decided to follow my pas- sion, quit my job, and buy the company. FE&S: How do you come up with some of the fun names for the sandwiches? AM: The Bobbie is named after our founder's aunt, Bobbie. The day after Thanksgiving, the Margolets would visit their aunt and uncle at their Baltimore home. Aunt Bobbie, who is now deceased, would Ashley Morris CEO Capriotti's Sandwich Shop Inc. Las Vegas

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