Avenal Becomes First Prison with Franchised Restaurant on Site

AVENAL, Calif.—A food service breakthrough has just taken place at a correctional center in the Golden State. Avenal State Prison (ASP) can now “Eat Fresh!” thanks to an initiative supported by the Office of Employee Wellness (OEW).

CDCR staff, contractors, volunteers, and guests on official business can find healthy food alternatives at a new Subway sandwich shop. The eatery is now open for business in the Administration Building cafeteria. This location is not open to the general public.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by:

  • Avenal Mayor Alvaro Preciado
  • Avenal Police Captain Leonard Lujan
  • Patrick Sanchez, Avenal Schools District Manager
  • Retired ASP Warden Rosemary Ndoh
  • Subway representatives.

“I am grateful to all of our staff who worked with Subway on this partnership to bring heathier meal options to our hard-working ASP employees for a better quality of life,” said ASP Warden Martin Gamboa.

The restaurant will be open from 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., seven days a week offering healthier options than other fast-food chains. The eatery will include breakfast items, sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, and beverages.

The process began July 2018, when the Department of General Services (DGS) called for bids from vendors to supply healthy food for CDCR staff. Subway, the only business to submit a bid, was awarded the 10-year contract to lease the space.

CDCR does not receive profits from Subway, and employees will not be awarded special discounts. At this time, there are no plans to expand this partnership to other prisons.

While other institutions and facilities do have snack bars and canteens, this establishment is the first of its kind in a California State Prison.

No other state institutions have a franchised restaurant inside its facility or on its property.

A report from Tessa Outhyse, Information Officer Office of Public and Employee Communications with the CDCR, contributed strongly to this story.