Blimpie sub shops are best known for serving up freshly sliced deli meats, cheeses, lettuce and tomatoes piled high on freshly baked breads at an affordable price. But on April 4, as Blimpie celebrates its 45th anniversary, many people still don’t know the rich history behind this beloved American sub shop.
The story is an American dream: in 1964, three New Jersey friends who had known each other since high school were determined to go into business for themselves. Fueled by this entrepreneurial spirit and inspired by a hearty sandwich known as the submarine, Tony Conza, Peter DeCarlo and Angelo Baldassare opened the first Blimpie sub shop 45 years ago in Hoboken, NJ.
Most surprising is how this historic American sub shop, Blimpie, got its name. The answer is really rather simple; when the three New Jersey friends were trying to decide on a name for their business they didn’t want to use traditional terms like hoagie or submarine. Equipped with a standard dictionary they began flipping through the pages and found the word “blimp” along with an image of a flying blimp. The men thought the image of the blimp mimicked the shape of the bread they were using to build their sandwiches – thus the name Blimpie was established.