Breaking into a sandwich market filled with chains up and down the Randall Road corridor was a big enough fight for Galloway's Chicago Subs.
But that battle, which they fought and won with their craveable food, was nothing compared to the construction that hit right outside their front door on Randall and Rakow roads.
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As the sandwich shop celebrates its third anniversary this month, owner Judy Galloway and her family are determined more than ever to make their small business work, knowing there is an end to the construction in sight, and knowing that they have such a loyal customer base rooting for them.
Despite the construction debris and traffic backups, many of their devoted customers still trekked daily or weekly to Galloway's at 1295 Randall Road in Crystal Lake from up and down the Randall Road corridor, just to get their sandwiches and ice cream treats.
"They made it so we could scrape by and hopefully make it through," said Galloway, who owns and runs the shop with her family. "We still have five to six months of construction, but it is wonderful knowing that the communities want us to succeed and are doing everything possible to make that happen.
"Now, here we are nearly 15 months into the construction and we are still plugging along," she said. "We have extremely loyal customers that want us to succeed, and they are our marketing department.
Galloway's opened in 2009.
By March 2011, the business started showing a profit after covering their startup costs and building a loyal customer base, Galloway said.
But then the construction hit. And people started avoiding the Randall and Rakow roads area so they wouldn't get stuck in construction traffic.
Traffic flow was diverted to the other side of Randall Road from where Galloway's is, and with construction trucks in the way, their sandwich shop was barely visible to passers-by.
Galloway said they struggled with a slow summer, and their sales dropped by 50 percent in 2011. In October, they were forced to close their doors for dinner because the customer-base at that time of day was nonexistent.
Now, though, with the construction shifting, she said, sales are back up a bit. They are still down 30 percent from where they were, but Galloway said she's confident things will continue getting better.
"We believe we've braved the toughest times," she said.
The restaurant also is open for dinner again, and is staying open until 8:30 p.m. for families who stop in after sporting events and summer outings for a quick dinner or ice cream treats.
"It is wonderful seeing our outside tables full," Galloway said. "The Galloway family would like to say thank you so very much to all of our loyal customers from all the surrounding towns that have helped make Galloway's a success and make the Galloway family happy to come to work each day."
To contact Galloway's, call (815) 356-7827.
Summer deals: If you're heading out to the Summer Concert Series at Geneva Commons, you may also want to grab a bite to eat with your music.
The concerts run Wednesday and Sunday nights, and so do food specials at some of the restaurants at the Randall Road outdoor mall.
There are different specials each week, which can be found at shopgenevacommons.com/events.
This week, you'll find food savings at Claddagh Irish Pub, Yogen Fruz, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Fresh D'Lite Grill, Jamba Juice and Houlihan's.
• Amy Williams' column covers all the news of business along the Randall Road corridor from South Elgin to Batavia. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (847) 894-5036.