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Sweet Peppers Deli was created in 1997 by north Mississippi restaurateurs John, Bernard and Myrrl Bean and Robin Fant. Three successful company-owned delis in Columbus, Starkville and Tupelo, Miss. provided the prototypes for franchising the concept in other markets.

"We were very pleased with how our customers responded to the Sweet Peppers
 – more... Deli menu and relaxed atmosphere," says Fant, who created Starkville dining favorite, Bulldog Deli, the inspiration for Sweet Peppers. "After talking with different restaurant consultants, we decided to take the next step and franchise. We are very proud of this company milestone, and couldn't be more pleased to be working with Beth and Clark."

The Callahan's have over 27 years of experience in the food service industry including food service sales, fast food, and catering. Clark Callahan met the Beans and Fant while working as a food service sales representative for Sweet Peppers Deli, as well as their other restaurants: Harveys in Columbus, Starkville and Tupelo, the Cotton District Grill in Starkville, and the Grill at Jackson Square in Columbus.

"My decision to buy a Sweet Peppers Deli franchise was based on my experience with them as honest, forthright people, and my knowledge of the concept's proven success," says Callahan.

After purchasing the franchise, the Callahan's moved to Hattiesburg in June, 2003 to begin the search for a restaurant location. They chose the site on Hardy Street in the Oak Grove community based on demographic and traffic pattern research, as well as it's proximity to the University of Southern Mississippi and Turtle Creek Mall, a major Hattiesburg shopping destination.

"We felt that a location close to the mall and USM would provide us with extra traffic from students and families as well," says Callahan. "One of the things that attracted us to Sweet Peppers Deli was that it offers really quality food at a bit of a faster pace than some of the casual dining options. Plus, it's priced so that it's very affordable for families."

Sweet Peppers Deli features a menu of salads, soups, signature sandwiches, panini (Italian pressed sandwiches), and wraps presented in a unique atmosphere including neon signs, glass garage doors, and outdoor eating areas.

Prior to the restaurant opening, the Callahan's and their management staff underwent extensive training with the Sweet Peppers Deli corporate office, including a month-long stint at one of the company-owned delis. In addition, they received several hundred pages of guidelines and store start-up checklists to aid in creating a successful restaurant. An experienced training team was provided to train new employees on-site and helped in the restaurant opening.

"We feel that training is the key to helping our new franchise owners be successful and to maintaining the commitment to quality and customer service that makes Peppers, Peppers," says Fant.

Sweet Peppers Deli Franchise Systems has also sold franchises in Memphis, Tenn., and Little Rock, Ark., with Memphis due to open this summer. – lessMore from ZoomInfo »

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$7.25 per hour
Based on 4 employees
$15,000 per year
Based on 3 employees
General Manager
$28,000 per year
Based on 3 employees