Anyone who grew up in New York or Philly can appreciate a real hoagie or sub; it’s more than just a sandwich, it’s an experience, a meal. A foot-long hoagie can feed a small family, packed with pounds of meat, cheese and vegetables there is nothing like it. When my family and I moved 3000 miles away from Philly I was beginning to wonder if anyone on the West Coast knew how to make a real hoagie. Sure, they claimed to sell “Philly-Style hoagies and cheesesteaks” but were missing about a half a pound of meat and don’t get me started on the rolls! When we found out there were Capriotti’s in Las Vegas it was like finding an old friend. I was impressed to find that the sandwiches were really tasted as good as they did back home.
When I started writing this story, I thought I would write about how in 1976 Lois Margolet took a boarded-up building on Union Street in Delaware and transformed it into a sandwich shop that was different than all the others. How she and her brother decided would set their shop apart from all the others by catering to “real turkey lovers” and by roasting fresh turkeys overnight and making sandwiches the following day with the fresh roasted turkey, high quality meats and cheeses, and fresh rolls and produce their little sandwich shop became the 55 franchise, nationwide empire Capriotti’s is today. Basically, Lois lived the American Dream.
After further research, I realized that this was only the beginning. About a few years ago Ashley Morris, a 28 year old Capriotti’s franchise owner acquired Capriotti’s Nationwide. He started off buying one franchise, then another, then a third. Now he is the CEO of Capriotti’s and overseas 55 franchises in eight states. After speaking with Ashley I can see that he strongly believes in maintaining the integrity of Capriotti’s and has big plans to bring Capriotti’s to California, Illinois, Texas and possibly Washington. Capriotti’s has not been effect by the economy; they just closed their most profitable quarter in Capriotti’s history. After all, this is not the first recession Capriotti’s has survived in its 32 years. When you make provide a superior product people will keep coming.
With over 120 more stores opening and plans to become a 500-750 chain outlet in the next five to seven years, Capriotti’s is taking over the world one delicious sandwich at a time. If you are ever on North Union Street in Wilmington Delaware stop by the original Capriotti’s where it all started.
Today Capriottis Sandwich Shops can be found across the country, they’ve come a long way from that little shop on Union Street. I for one am grateful that I can still get a taste of home 3000 miles away.