Blimpie is a submarine sandwich chain in the United States. The company is based in Scottsdale, Arizona. The first Blimpie store opened in 1964 in Hoboken, New Jersey. By mid-2002, there were about 2,000 Blimpie outlets in operation, located in 47 U.S. states and in 15 other countries. Unlike most restaurant chains, Blimpie generally does not operate "company stores". Virtually all its income is derived from the various fees associated with franchise arrangements. In addition to freestanding outlets and locations in shopping malls and store clusters, Blimpie can also be found in a variety of nontraditional sites, such as inside convenience stores, gasoline station food marts, schools, office complexes, hospitals, and sports arenas. A key area of growth is in the development or acquisition of other brands. In 1999 the company launched Pasta Central, a franchised chain within the "home meal replacement" category featuring Italian-style pasta and pizza; the concept was exclusively a vehicle for co-branded Blimpie/Pasta Central outlets. Two years earlier, Blimpie International acquired majority control of Maui Tacos, a Mexican quick-service restaurant with a Hawaiian flavor. Maui Tacos in 1998 launched Smoothie Island, a chain offering blended fruit-based beverages.