Subway Used To Be Called Something Totally Different

Subway is known for a lot of things, both good and bad. You may think about how, when you were younger, you watched that teenager behind the glass whip up your turkey sandwich like some kind of hoagie wizard. You may remember the classic $5 footlong deal–and the resulting scandal when people started to claim those footlongs were only 11 inches rather than the promised 12 (via Forbes). You'll probably remember the bizarre debate about whether or not Subway's tuna is actual tuna or some factory-made sludge. For a company that, in the end, just makes submarine sandwiches, Subway seems to attract both good and bad publicity.

But have you ever really thought about the company itself? You always remember the company being called "Subway", sure, but past the mainstream stories about freshly baked bread and allegations of fake tuna, what exactly is the story behind one of America's submarine sandwich empires?

The story of Subway takes us back to 1960s Connecticut, where our characters take the form of a 17-year-old high school graduate, a physicist, and of course, lots of sandwiches.

Subway used to be called "Pete's Super Sandwiches"

According to Subway's lore, their story begins in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1965. Fred DeLuca, a 17-year-old high school graduate looking for a way to get some money for medical school, received a $1,000 loan from family friend and physicist Dr. Peter Buck. Buck's advice to DeLuca was simple: open up a sandwich shop using the loan, and use the resulting income to pay for college tuition. DeLuca did just that, opening a sandwich shop under the name of "Pete's Super Sandwiches", after his family friend and business partner Peter Buck.

But why change the name? "Pete's" wouldn't have been a bad name to go with, especially in a world of "Wendy's" and "Dave and Buster's". According to Franchise500, local radios ads would pronounce "Pete's Submarines" too fast, making the name sound more along the lines of "Pizza Marines" to customers. Since customers would obviously be expecting pizza instead of submarine sandwiches, the name was changed to "Pete's Subways", before simply becoming "Subway" a few years later.

While both Fred DeLuca and Peter Buck have since passed away, their legacy lives on in the form of Subway's parent company "Doctor's Associates Inc.", as Buck was a doctor of physics and DeLuca had plans to be a doctor.