BROOKFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – A long-standing sub shop in Brookfield Center is under new ownership but not before the new owner learns the ropes from the woman whose family has owned the business for more than four decades.
The new owner not only wants to keep customer’s expectations high but is also looking to revitalize the entire corner.
Tracey Mills family has owned Belly Buster for 47 years, the sub shop that opened right in the center of Brookfield when she was just six years old.
Now, she’s heading into retirement.
“I’m leaving it in good hands. That was a gift from God to me, because I asked for people who would keep the Belly Buster,” she said.
Mills has been trying to sell the business, along with the former Brookfield Gardens, Fireball Motors and her parent’s home, for several years.
“I didn’t sell it to somebody who was going to tear it down. I thought of Brookfield, the community, the way I have done, my family has done business our entire lives, and that meant something to me,” she said.
She’s had a few offers, but up until Matthew Chu came along, none of them seemed like the right fit.
“It was more important to have the right people take it because of the history that’s here,” she said.
“I’m excited. I’m nervous, and I want to make sure everyone’s expectations are through the roof because these are the best subs,” Chu said.
Chu officially takes over on Monday.
He has spent this week, alongside his girlfriend Josy Kirila and her younger sister Brooke, learning the Belly Buster way of doing things straight from Mills.
“Making a sub in front of her is a little nerve-wracking, you know, and just making sure it’s up to her standards is my goal,” Chu said.
Mills has high hopes for a bright future, not only for the Belly Buster, but the entire corner.
Chu has a few ideas already.
“I think it’s going to be grand. I’m very excited. I’m very happy. I’m very pleased,” Mills said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to want to come here, love it, and let maybe the entire corner be what it used to be.”
“This is the community I’m serving. I want to grow this community. I want to build this community,” Chu said.