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Meet Baldino's owner Donnie Routh

Routh owns Baldino’s sub shop in Richmond Hill and also works part time as a Richmond Hill cop.


How long have you been in Richmond Hill?

I live in Midway, but I started with the police department in 1992 and I opened Baldino’s four years ago.


What is your impression of this community?

There are a lot of good people here. That’s one of the main reasons I chose to open my business here. Everyone seems to pull together and help each other when there’s a need to.


What inspired you to join the Richmond Hill Police Department?

I just enjoy helping people. I started out with the Hinesville PD when I was 19 – working the radio before I worked my way up to patrolman. Then I worked part time with Chatham County up until I started working for Richmond Hill. We’ve got a great department here, from Chief Reynolds on down. Anytime we’ve had anything major happen, we’ve always pulled together and solved the crime. We've worked as a team and got the job done.


What inspired you to open your own business?

I’ve always wanted to open a Baldino’s. When I was growing up, the guy who started up Baldino’s lived catty-cornered to my parents’ house. I told him I wanted to own one of my own. I have two boys to put through college, and I felt like Baldino’s would help me do that. It just seems like a solid investment because of the quality of the product. I mean, everything is baked fresh everyday. I bake bread twice a day and slice meats daily. I’ve never had a better sub. Every time I went out of state for police training, I’d try different sub shops, and none of them seemed to measure up.


How has your experience been with Baldino’s so far?

With the economy the way it is, it’s been a bit of a struggle. When gas prices went up, my sales plummeted. We used to have a lot of construction workers come in here, but that has slowed down due to the downturn in the housing industry. Our sales usually pick up around March, so hopefully we’ll see an upturn. One of the highlights thus far has been the benefit we did for Leslie Barto. I was really impressed with the amount of people that came in that day to support Leslie. I hope to do something similar to that in the future.


I can imagine that running your own business is a handful. Why did you keep your job on the police force?

I enjoy it. That way, too, if the business fails, I have something to fall back on.


Has owning your own business been a satisfying experience?

Yes, it’s been very satisfying. My wife Gloria works for the Hinesville Police Department. We try to take what we’ve been through and seen kids go through and help the kids that work for us here. I had one kid that was going through a hard time, and we spent a lot of time with him. He’s going to college now.


What’s your favorite TV show?

You can’t beat the Andy Griffith Show or Gomer Pyle. It’s good clean fun. There’s no foul language or anything like that.


What type of music do you listen to?

I like a lot of the older pop. As far as newer stuff, I really like Rascal Flatts.


What’s your favorite vacation spot?

We like to camp up at Helen. There’s a lot to be said for the serenity of the mountains. We enjoy going to Plains, Georgia as well. Jimmy Carter teaches Sunday school up there, and we went and saw him. I have a lot of respect for him. The things he has done for humanity is just amazing.

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