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A new Firehouse opening in Statesboro
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      When I started this job six years ago, the most recent wave of commercial and residential development was beginning to heat up. The boom was on the way.
      Well, the "boom" days are certainly behind us for now, but, little by little, I am seeing signs of life - signs that entrepreneurship is still alive and kicking. I have to confess that my children saw the build out of this business occurring and reported it to me.
      At the corner of Gentilly Road and Brannen Street, local resident Cannon DeLoach is busy overseeing the construction of his new franchise of Firehouse Subs. Known to many in the construction industry as a successful local framer and owner of Cannon Contracting, DeLoach said his interest in the restaurant chain evolved from eating at the sub restaurant when he was on the road overseeing jobs.
      "Over the last several years, I have done framing jobs all over, and on occasion a Firehouse Sub would be nearby," he said. "I just thought it was the best sandwich I had ever eaten."
      DeLoach said he contacted the parent company a few years ago about opening a franchise in Statesboro, but someone already had the rights to do so. "A couple of years went by, and one wasn't built, so I wrote a letter to company," he said. "One thing led to another, and eventually I received the franchise."
      DeLoach said he looked at a number of locations before settling on this one. "This is such a busy road, and the access is really good," he said.   "Just look at the amount of traffic in the video store next door. It is a lot."
      DeLoach said it isn't such a big stretch from framing quick-serve restaurants to opening one. "I bet we have framed over 150 fast food restaurants," he said. "This business is similar in that it is all about doing things in order, quickly, and precisely. I will say that it is much less physically challenging."
      While the significant dip in construction may have been the factor in DeLoach's decision to open the restaurant, he feels it was good move for his family.
      "My wife is a registered nurse and has been at home raising our children," he said. "Having a construction company is great, but I can't see her managing those crews if something happened to me. This can be a very good family business for us."
      As for framing, DeLoach said he will continue to do construction work as the jobs present themselves. "Hopefully, things will pick back up again." DeLoach plans to have the restaurant open in the next several weeks. To learn more about Firehouse Subs you can visit their website at www.firehousesubs.com.