In honor of Family Day on February 21, we are recognizing and honoring some of our Canada Firehouse Subs franchisees who work side by side with their families. 

Learn about how local franchisee Adam Arefian and his stepson Nick Lebastchi work together every day at their five Canada Firehouse Subs restaurants in Oakville, Mississauga and Etobicoke.

Tell us about your family dynamic and how you ventured into restaurant ownership together?

My wife Angel Hadissi and I married prior to opening our Oakville Firehouse Subs together. She has two adult children; my stepson Nick is part owner of their restaurants, while my stepdaughter Neda helps with operations.

I have a unique franchisee experience as I am the first and only Firehouse Subs franchisee to have restaurants in both Canada and the United States. I began my journey with Firehouse Subs in the United States in 2004. My first wife unfortunately passed away shortly after the grand opening of our first restaurant. Years later, I met Angel and she joined me in my restaurateur career.

In total, our family owns and operates five restaurants in Canada and three in the United States.

What’s your favorite part about working together?

We all share a common experience and get to go through it together, understanding exactly what each of us is dealing with. Owning and operating our restaurants together connects us even more.

If you have children, are they involved in your restaurant at all?

Neda and Nick are both heavily involved in operating our five restaurants across Ontario.

What’s one thing that most people don’t know about owning and operating a restaurant with your family?

It can be challenging but if everyone pulls their weight, together as a family we can overcome anything and be better for it. 

What activities do you enjoy doing together outside of your restaurants?

Ironically, we really enjoy visiting other restaurants together! Eating together as a family is a great way to stay connected away from the business side of things.

What advice do you have for families who work together?

It’s important to understand each other's boundaries and respect that. In fact, it’s critical. Everyone needs to know what they are responsible for to ensure a smooth work-life balance. 

What does your ideal Family Day look like? 

It’s a national holiday where for one day you don’t have to worry about anything but enjoying your loved ones! Our ideal Family Day would be to simply have everyone together eating, drinking and being happy. 

What are each of your favorite Firehouse Subs? 

My favorite sub is the Hook & Ladder®, while Angel enjoys the Veggie sub. Neda loves the Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisket and Nick loves anything edible at Firehouse Subs. All jokes aside, his current favorite is the New York Steamer®.