The Origin of the Name Blimpie: How It All Started

It all started in 1964 when three friends, Tony Conza, Peter DeCarlo and Angelo Bandassare, opened their first store in Hoboken, New Jersey. With a standard dictionary in hand, they stumbled upon the word “airship” and its accompanying image of a flying airship. The men thought that the image of the airship resembled the shape of the bread they used to make their sandwiches, and thus the name Blimpie was born. Blimpie International, Inc.

has gone through three changes of ownership since its inception. Contrary to popular belief, Blimpie was not named after submarines as Tony Conza didn't like the sound of them. Instead, he found the word Blimpie while flipping through a dictionary and deemed it appropriate. In 1976, Blimpie was divided into two separate entities, both of which retained the rights to the Blimpie brand.

The company is best known for its Blimpie Best cold-cut combo, freshly baked bread, and hearty vegetable-stacked sandwiches. It has been around for more than 50 years and is considered to be America's oldest submarine sandwich chain. In the late 1980s, Tony began traveling to visit franchisees in order to further establish Blimpie as America's Sub Shop. In 1993, Blimpie had 670 locations and its slogan “Simply Blimpie for freshly cut snacks” was widely recognized.

In addition to opening stand-alone units, including non-traditional locations such as airports, health clubs and grocery stores, Blimpie also planned to share Smoothie Island with the Maui Tacos and Blimpie concepts in dual-brand and tri-brand formats. Stores across the country will today sell their regular-sized Blimpie Best submarine for 50 cents to the first 200 customers at each location. The first Blimpie sub-store opened its doors on May 16, 1964 in Hoboken by Tony Conza, Peter DeCarlo and Angelo Baldassare. Ever since then, the name Blimpie has been synonymous with excellent snacks. A major factor in the decline of Blimpie was that the rights of the sub-franchisors of the chain had been largely sold by the mid-1990s. However, with new ownership and leadership came a brighter era for Blimpie.

Tristan Gagliardo
Tristan Gagliardo

Proud social media ninja. Bacon expert. Unapologetic gamer. Proud zombie nerd. Freelance pop culture scholar.

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