When the sale of Maple Street Biscuit Company to breakfast behemoth Cracker Barrel was announced last month, we couldn’t help but feel a little sad.
To be clear, we’re certainly happy for the chain’s owners, who got a well-deserved payday for their hard work in building their brand. It’s just unfortunate to lose another local favorite to a national corporation.
The news came around four years after fellow local breakfast chain Metro Diner sold 100% of its intellectual property to ConSul Hospitality Group.
Obviously, there is nothing wrong with national chains; Jax has plenty of them. But when a local restaurant manages to spin off successfully into multiple locations, it’s hard not to root for them to stay local and to retain that “Jacksonville charm.”
In light of that, here are five examples of locally-owned restaurant chains that – at least for now – have continued to be owned and operated in Jacksonville.
The first entry on our list is a rather obvious one.
Since launching just over 25 years ago, Firehouse Subs has grown to become one of the Bold City’s most successful businesses of all-time.
The first Firehouse Subs location was opened in 1994 by former firefighters Chris and Robin Sorenson. By 1998, the company had already begun expanding outside of Florida and started franchising its concept. Today, Firehouse has almost 1,200 stores spanning 46 states plus Puerto Rico.
Through all its growth, the company has remained under the ownership of the Sorensen brothers. Its corporate office can be found within Flagler Center on the Southside.