Soup's On

Pickerman's Soup & Sandwhich Shop franchise
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the September 2000 issue of Startups. Subscribe »

Mark Chiattello remembers when his father, Guy, started A.J. Pickerman's. Even though the restaurant chain closed five years later, in 1980, a victim of the decade's slumping economy, Guy never gave up on the idea.

Twenty years later, when the younger Chiattello was thinking about starting a business of his own, Guy suggested resurrecting A. J. Pickerman's. So that's just what he did back in '96. But Chiattello wasn't interested in simply restarting his father's company; he wanted to make a few alterations, including changing the restaurant's name to Pickerman's Soup & Sandwich Shop.

"Back when my father owned it, it was a full-service, full-menu restaurant," Chiattello recalls. "I decided to keep the menu and the concept very simple. I didn't want to be all over the board, trying to serve all kinds of items."

The new Pickerman's has a menu of gourmet sandwiches, soups and salads that are served at the company's 22 franchise locations throughout the Midwest. Twenty other locations are currently under construction, and Chiattello hopes to open 50 units by year-end and double the number of new units each year after that. "In the first quarter, we got 20 leases out," he says. "It's just a matter of finding spots and getting the leases signed."

With the support of his family-his father is company president, his brother does computer design for the stores, and his wife and his mother handle the d├ęcor for each location-Chiattello's building the company of dreams. "My life is dedicated to Pickerman's," says the 29-year-old. "I'm still a pretty young guy, but a few years ago, I decided this is what I want to do."

And maybe in another 20 years, Chiattello's now 2-year-old daughter will decide running Pickerman's is what she wants to do, too. A turnkey Pickerman's franchise costs between $110,000 and $120,000.

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

Former Apple CEO John Sculley Shares 4 Key Strategies for Growing and Marketing Your Business