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Inside Bulloch Business with DeWayne Grice - Baldinos back in Boro; Clyde's expanding
Grice-H-DeWayne Web
DeWayne Grice

            Baldinos Giant Jersey Subs has re-entered the Statesboro market after leaving more than three decades ago.
        Statesboro was the first franchised location of the chain. The current Statesboro franchise is owned by Coastal Area Stores, the parent company of Clyde's convenience stores. I caught up with Baldinos founder Bill Baer, who was in Statesboro helping prepare the store for opening.
        Growing up in New Jersey and being introduced to the south compliments of the Marine Corps, he saw the opportunity to bring New Jersey subs down south. After leaving the Marines in 1975 Baer opened his first Baldinos in Fayetteville, N.C. In 1977, he opened his first Georgia location outside the main gate of Ft. Stewart in Hinesville. Shortly after, he opened his first franchise location in Statesboro on South Main Street.
        "That was a real learning experience," Baer said. "The response was incredible and everyone loved our product. After operating a few years here, we determined that we needed to tweak the franchise model and ended our franchise agreement which closed the Statesboro store. I have always liked this market and hoped to come back."
        As fate would have it, his son moved Statesboro to attend Georgia Southern University, and an opportunity presented itself.
         "We had a Baldinos franchise location inside a Clyde's Market in Richmond Hill," Baer said. "After the franchisee decided to retire, I was approached by Neal Anderson, VP/COO of Coastal Area Stores (the parent company of Clyde's Market) about selling the franchise rights to them. We closed that deal in January and immediately began looking for expansion locations."
        The Statesboro location opened about four weeks ago in the Market District. It is located in the former Groucho's Deli at 1240 Brampton Avenue. If the first few weeks are any indication, Statesboro has really missed Baldinos.
        "Bill's concept with Baldinos in creating a real blue collar sub shop is one that fits the Clyde's model very well," Anderson said. "This has proved to be one of the key ingredients of his success, which is providing a great, quality product for the best price possible. In keeping his price points very competitive for the portion sizes, he has developed a very loyal following. We are also very pleased with the diversity of the demographics who crave Baldinos. "Many of our customers who are piling into the Statesboro location were not even born when it was originally in Statesboro. They have been exposed to Baldinos in their hometown and grown to love it."
        Clyde's Market operates in 41 locations within a 90-mile radius of their corporate office in Glennville. Most of the stores have in-store delis, so the expansion of Baldinos within the markets they already serve creates a natural opportunity for them.
        Seven years ago, Coastal Area Stores opened their first freestanding restaurant concept called the Rusty Pig in Glennville. Five years ago they opened the second location in Rincon and built the third location in Hinesville a year ago. These restaurants also have established a loyal following and have given their team an opportunity to explore operating free standing restaurants outside of Clyde's Markets.
        Clyde's was founded more than 46 years ago by Clyde Woolard, who began working in the industry managing a store for his brother-n-law Carl Jones, the founder of Flash Foods. Clyde continues to serve as president of Coastal Area Stores and his son Greg is the VP and CEO. Clyde's son McCall operates Woodland Oil Company, handling the fuel distribution side of the business, and son-in-law Neal, who is married to Clyde's daughter Cindy Woolard Anderson, serves as COO.
        My history with this company and family stretches back to the beginning.
        McCall, Greg, Cindy and I all attended Pinewood Christian Academy. Greg and I graduated together. It has been incredible following this company grow and watching the children boost the foundation of success their parents began. When the family is involved there are two things I know, their ventures will be wildly successful and the communities they serve will be increased because of their existence.
        I look for continued growth and success for Clyde's Market, the Rusty Pig and now Baldinos under their leadership.


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