CORNELIUS – Despite owning a restaurant in one of the nation’s leading franchises, Jennefer Powers’ focus is making sure her Subway location is linked to the area.

Powers celebrated the third anniversary of owning the Subway in Norman Crossing off West Catawba Avenue by hosting a ribbon cutting Jan. 15 with the help of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce.

“We have a great crew and are thrilled to be part of the chamber and community,” she told attendees.

The location has been open more than 15 years and already had a following for its footlong subs, flat breads and new breakfast offerings.

“The community is very supportive considering it’s not the easiest to get into and the signs are restricted,” she said. “But we are consistently busy. People share among one another and we have school and team lunches. They have been very supportive to help us be part of the overall area. Lake Norman is a pocket and they take care of each other.”

Jennefer and her husband, Bob, became members of the chamber last fall to increase involvement.

“We want to be more connected,” she said, adding it’s sometimes difficult since they live in Matthews. “Small business owners support small business.”

The couple started researching franchise ownership a few years ago after a career change offered a new opportunity. They wanted companies that had proven track records and Subway was already on their minds and has continued to be successful. It ranks third on the 2014 Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list.

“Subway came up on the radar and it was a great fit,” Jennefer said. “The product sells itself. We live in a health conscious society and there is tremendous advertising from corporate and national ads that appeal to all with athletes, actors and the NFL, so you are pulling in people across the board.”

While they would have liked to have more Subways, an opportunity opened to also buy three Charlotte locations of the 7-Eleven Inc. franchise, which comes in at No. 6 on the Franchise 500 list.