Lenny's News and Interviews

Press of Atlantic City - Sub shop providing taste of the shore

January 02, 2006

Food and fond memories go together for Len Moore.

When Moore remembers his days in the Wildwoods, he especially remembers Mack's Pizza, Taylor pork roll and Zaberer's restaurant.

"I loved Wildwood and the Boardwalk," Moore said. "We went there because of the great memories."

Since he was 5, Moore and his family made the pilgrimage from their home in New Castle, Del., to Five Mile Beach. They stayed near Otten's Harbor, sometimes on 26th Avenue and later in parts of Wildwood Crest.

So, when he was about 26, it made sense to Moore to come back to Wildwood to start his own business. Armed with a $2,500 budget, Moore and his wife, Sheila, opened Sub King on the Boardwalk in Ocean Towers at Cresse Avenue in time for the summer of 1979.

They operated on the Boardwalk for two summers, serving cold subs made on fresh Italian bread along with fresh-squeezed lemonade.

That was the beginning of Lenny's Sub Shop, a chain that sells subs made just the way they were all those years ago in Wildwood.

The Moores left the Boardwalk in 1980 due to changes in their family, but when Len Moore decided to start his own business a second time around he drew on his time in his favorite shore town.

"Everything we do is a tribute to what goes on at the Jersey Shore," Moore said. "I just remember the great family times down there. The food, the flavors. I loved the Jersey Shore."

Now, Lenny's has 70 locations in 11 states and is on the verge of a major expansion, with franchises slated to appear in places like Las Vegas, Charlotte, N.C., and St. Louis.

"The only difference between now and then is we bake our own bread," Moore said. "Our bread on the Boardwalk was baked fresh for us every morning. I remember it came in cardboard boxes. We did everything fresh to order. Four registers and four lines."

The other difference is the addition of George Alvord, who purchased the controlling interest in the business in 2004 and has been at the helm ever since.

Alvord was born and raised in Montclair, Essex County, and has his own links to the Jersey Shore. He remembers days spent working in Cape May and visiting Wildwood, which was the place for young people to go.

"We're taking a planned growth approach as we go nationwide with a focus in the southeast," said Alvord, explaining that the company expects to open 500 Lenny's in the next five years.

Alvord said the connection to New Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area distinguish the chain and Moore's days in Wildwood work to the company's advantage.

Moore pointed to the effort to get the right cherry peppers and the best olive oils along with freshly sliced meats and cheeses.

And regardless of how Lenny's grows, Moore said he expects every sub will be like the first sold on those summer days in 1979.

"Wildwood in the summertime. That's the place to go. That's what we tried to create here," Alvord said.

Contact Lenny's Public Relations:

Jenna Duett
Marketing and PR Manager
(901) 753-4002