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The Unlikely Duo Who Revolutionized Fast Food: The Extraordinary Story of Subway’s Founders

The unlikely duo who founded Subway: A remarkable journey

When it comes to the origins of Subway, the popular sandwich chain, you might not expect a nuclear physicist to be involved. But the story of Dr Peter Buck and Fred DeLuca, Subway’s co-founders, is a testament to the power of seizing opportunities and turning dreams into reality.

Meeting of minds

In 1965, a young high school graduate named Fred DeLuca needed money to pay for college. At a family picnic, he struck up a conversation with Dr Peter Buck, a nuclear physicist and friend of DeLuca’s parents. Little did they know that this chance meeting would mark the beginning of an extraordinary partnership.
Dr Buck, known for his expertise in nuclear physics and his amiable nature, proposed an idea that would change both their lives forever. He suggested: “Let’s open a sandwich shop. And with those words, the seed of Subway was planted.

A thousand dollars and a vision

Dr Buck, a Ph.D. from Columbia University, generously loaned DeLuca $1,000 to get their business off the ground. Together they devised a plan to serve delicious Italian-style sandwiches to their community in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
In 1965, Subway opened its doors, offering delicious subs at an affordable price. On their first day, they sold an impressive 312 sandwiches, marking the humble beginnings of what would become a global phenomenon.

From Pete’s Super Submarines to Subway

As Subway began to expand, the duo recognised the need for a name change. Originally known as Pete’s Super Submarines, they decided to change their name to Subway. This decision came about due to a radio advertising mishap where the name “Pete’s Submarines” was often misheard as “Pizza Marines”. Thus the name Subway was born, embodying their vision of a sandwich haven.

A legacy of giving back

Although Fred DeLuca sadly passed away in 2015, Dr Peter Buck continues to leave a lasting impact on both the Subway brand and the community. In 1999, Dr Buck and his wife, Carmen Lucia Buck, established the Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation, a philanthropic endeavour aimed at addressing various family-related issues.
In the last five years alone, Dr Buck has generously donated a staggering $216 million to his foundation. Today, his net worth stands at approximately $1.6 billion, a testament to his entrepreneurial success and commitment to making a difference.

A journey of success

The story of Dr Peter Buck and Fred DeLuca is a remarkable tale of determination, ingenuity and a willingness to seize unexpected opportunities. From a chance encounter to a global empire, Subway has become a household name, serving millions of customers around the world.
As we enjoy our favourite Subway sandwiches, let us remember the unlikely duo who founded this iconic brand. Their unwavering dedication and entrepreneurial spirit continue to inspire aspiring entrepreneurs and remind us all that with a dream, determination and a little money, anything is possible.
– “The Unlikely Duo Who Founded Subway” by Melissa Campana (


How did Dr Peter Buck and Fred DeLuca come up with the idea for Subway?

Dr Peter Buck, a nuclear physicist, suggested the idea of opening a sandwich shop during a conversation with Fred DeLuca, who was looking for ways to pay for college. They saw an opportunity and decided to go for it.

What was Subway’s initial investment?

Dr Buck loaned Fred DeLuca $1,000, which was the initial investment to open the first Subway restaurant.

Why did Pete’s Super Submarines change its name to Subway?

The name change was prompted by a radio advertising mishap. The original name “Pete’s Submarines” was often misheard as “Pizza Marines”. To avoid confusion and to better represent their brand, they decided to change their name to Subway.

What philanthropic work has Dr Peter Buck been involved in?

In 1999, Dr Peter Buck and his wife, Carmen Lucia Buck, established the Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation. The Foundation focuses on family issues, and Dr Buck has donated a remarkable $216 million to the Foundation over the past five years.

What is Dr Peter Buck’s net worth?

Dr Peter Buck’s net worth is approximately $1.6 billion. His success as an entrepreneur and his philanthropic endeavours have contributed to his impressive wealth.

How many sandwiches did Subway sell on its first day of business?

On its first day, Subway sold an impressive 312 sandwiches, marking the early success of the business.

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