Produce Depot, an upscale Subway and Constitution Coin are among the new businesses opened in St. John this year.
The contemporary-designed Subway, owned by Dan and Danielle Legler, opened in November at 10865 Maple Lane near the Gates of St. John subdivision entrance. Its design incorporates room for a future drive-through lane.
A large stone wall serves as the centerpiece for the new décor, which replaces the former Tuscany design. Autumn-toned colors, shades of orange, brown and green, emit a warm inviting feeling. Modern lighting fixtures along with natural wood-toned and black laminate floors complete the upscale effect.
Dan Legler said Subway is changing with the times and giving customers a more inviting dining experience.
The Legler’s own two other Subway franchises at the Lighthouse Mall in Michigan City and in the St. John Mall on U.S. 41.
Legler, who with his wife bought their first franchise in 1995, said he likes the healthy aspects of the product and strives for cleanliness, honesty, accuracy, safety and enthusiasm in all his stores.
Legler said they chose the newest St John location for its proximity to their home, the community growth and the town’s home town atmosphere.
“I like doing business here because I can easily talk to St. John administrators, police, and fire officials,” Legler said.
Legler said the community has been receptive to his St. John Subways. He said St. John Town Administrator Steven Kil and Building Inspector Tom Redar have been especially helpful throughout the process.
Subway hours of operation are: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Produce Depot, owned by Mike and Rose Massaro, opened its second and largest store at 8126 Wicker Ave. Its first location in Dyer is at 101 Joliet St. The St. John location includes a fresh fruit and vegetable juice and smoothie bar with a café seating area, a coffee bar and a large walk-in cooler filled with fresh herbs and vegetables. Produce Depot sells both organic and conventional produce, nuts and grains and homemade bread baked fresh daily with no preservatives.
Baked goods are made with seasonal fruits, Rose Massaro said. Current choices include banana nut bread, peach cobbler, muffins and apple crisp. Baked goods can be pre-ordered as can fruit and vegetable trays, she said.
Produce Depot is now serving fresh sliced all natural deli meats which contain no growth hormones or antibiotics, Rose Massaro said. They are currently selling turkey and ham and in the future plan to offer roast beef and pastrami.
Massaro said their most popular sellers are the banana nut bread and muffins, the fresh fruit and veggie smoothies and “our natural sandwiches which people are raving about.”
“Of course there are the organic fruits and vegetables that people come from all over for,” Massaro said. “They say we have the best selection anywhere.”
“We believe in all natural products and we try to stick with that rule,” Massaro said. “We have a lot of products that are gluten free and we want to get more into that.”
Produce Depot stocks gluten free pastas and bread and brownie mixes.
The Massaro’s, who are renting their Dyer location, wanted a place of their own in order to have room to grow, she said.
“This is our place so we can just add on as much as we want,” Massaro said.
Massaro said St. John has been welcoming.
“We have a lot of new customers and they are welcoming us into the community,” Massaro said. “We have very friendly neighbors, Zig-E’s Funland next door. They have been helpful and are always there to lend a hand.”
Produce Depot hours are: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Produce Depot, which has a Facebook page, can be reached at (219) 365-8280 in St John and at (219) 865-2779 in Dyer.
Constitution Coin opened in May in the St. John Plaza at 9161 Wicker Ave.
Steve McEowen, owner and numismatist said it is an old-fashioned coin shop offering expert appraisals, purchase and sale of gold and silver coins and bullion, historical documents, estate jewelry, reference guides, coin books and coin supplies.
McEowen, who has more than 25 years of numismatic expertise, said his business serves both the serious and casual collector.
“Our large network of associates allows us to provide our customers with hard-to-find items, usually within two to four business days,” McEowen said.
“We pride ourselves on integrity.”
McEowen’s interest in coins began as a youngster collecting change on his paper route. As the years passed, his interest grew and he began studying the field extensively. His tenure as a coin dealer began from a home office where he maintained a newsletter and mailing list. He expanded his knowledge and dealer network through attendance at coin shows both major and local and awaited the day when he would open his own shop, he said.
McEowen said the St. John community has welcomed his business.
“It has been absolutely wonderful,” McEowen said. “The people here are great.”
Constitution Coin hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m Saturday. They can be reached at (219) 365-3121, via e-mail at email@example.com. Visit their website at www.constitutioncoin.com.