Lenny's News and Interviews

Lenny's Sub Shop owner wants to help community

July 07, 2010

After spending 28 years working in corporate America with companies like Fed Ex and Servicemaster, Dian Trosclair realized that the corporate life wasn't for her.

It isn't every day that a top-level executive decide it's time for a career change, but that's exactly what the then vice president of strategic sourcing at Servicemaster did. Trosclair finally understood that while she enjoyed corporate life, what she really wanted was to be in a position to support the community.

Trosclair's new passion was entrepreneurship, a goal that was realized with Lenny's Sub Shop. Lenny's was a restaurant chain centered in Memphis, where Trosclair was living at the time she decided to make the change.

Having lived in the Knoxville area while attending the University of Tennessee, East Tennessee immediately came to mind when she decided to open her own Lenny's Sub Shops with the help of her brother, Sean Norris.

Norris and Trosclair currently own five shops, including four Knoxville stores and one Blount County location situated in Hunter's Crossing across from Lowe's.

Norris and Trosclair have worked as partners from the start, with Norris managing the restaurants in person and Trosclair working from her home in Memphis. It wasn't until November that Trosclair moved back to the area and was able to have the hands-on experience she hoped for from the chain.

Loves work, people
Trosclair believes one of the best parts of her work is getting to know the employees and customers as she works in the stores. Despite the challenges involved with scheduling and adjusting to a different work environment, Trosclair loves her work and the people she gets to know.

However, her career change wasn't just about owning and working in the restaurants. She wanted to be able to give back to the community. She has always been an advocate of sponsoring community building and activities, particularly for children, but getting involved is different on the corporate level than it is at the store level. Trosclair recounted that as an executive she would write a check for an organization and hope everything worked out for the best. Now, however, she enjoys the fact that she can be physically involved in the process.

Trosclair takes pride in community, and she specifically advocates efforts that work to mentor area teens, such as Youth Villages, but she also supports her workers in advancing their careers and even helping troubled workers find help for recovery.

Helps Alcoa football team
She has also recently worked with the Alcoa High School football team to encourage the athletes in all aspects of their lives. “I love the community. That's what life is all about,” she said. “My favorite thing is seeing people feel good about themselves, seeing opportunities and options, and helping people see that they can do whatever they want to do.”

The brother-sister team also owns the rights to Lenny's Sub Shop in Blount, Knox and Sevier Counties, and has big plans for future expansion.

Although the economic downturn has slowed growth in all areas of business, Trosclair and Norris are still thinking ahead and have plans to open more stores in the coming years.

By Peggy Carouthers
Daily Times Correspondent
Originally published: July 07. 2010 3:01AM

Contact Lenny's Public Relations:

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