Already well-known for their hoagies, Philadelphia is about to get a new twist on the old classic.
Nicole Marie and Justin Sapolsky are the co-founders of Matt & Marie’s Modern Italian Sandwiches, a forthcoming eat-in delicatessen that aims to provide consumers with both a high end Italian sandwich and a comfortable, modern atmosphere to enjoy it in.
“We’re calling it modern Italian,” Sapolsky said of the restaurant’s menu. “Everything will be recognizable, but twisted a little bit. We do the classic Italian, but then we top it with things like homemade pickled peppers and spicy aioli to make it a little more modern, a little more chief inspired.”
The startup began in November 2012 after the two budding restaurateurs met at the Wharton School of Business Entrepreneurship Club and shared a love for Italian food.
Without a brick and mortar store just yet, Sapolsky and Marie have spent the last year getting their product out via a catering service. But they have recently put catering on hold to focus their full attention on opening the store.
“There’s so many different aspects that go into opening up a store,” Marie said. “The list just goes on and on, so we really wanted to focus on that since the original goal was to open up a brick and mortar store.
In addition to crafting the restaurant’s menu, the two Wharton students have also worked tirelessly to ensure the optimal eating experience for their customers.
“Over the summer, we must have tried 35 different bakeries for bread,” Sapolsky said.
It’s that meticulous attention to detail along with some outside of the box thinking that separates Matt & Marie’s from other would be start up restaurants. Utilizing more than 1,000 different computer simulations on what makes for the best line structure for their store, they’ve employed technology and scientific data in an effort to get their patrons the best hoagie possible.
“Things like how the line flow,” Sapolsky said. “We spent hundreds of hours running simulations on just how people walk-in the store.”
In addition to creating a website for their business Sapolsky and Marie have also launched a blog to keep would be eaters up to date on all of their happenings.
With the blog up and running, their menu in place and their line structure established the only missing piece for Matt & Marie’s is the store itself. And while the search of a location continues both are confident there will be a Matt & Marie’s in Center City in the very near future.