How did two techheads from San Francisco end up making sandwiches in Oklahoma City?
Alan Grande and Isaac Barton opened The Sandwich Club, 3703 N. Western Ave., last week and are happy to talk to customers while slathering down slices of Big Sky Bread and piling on toppings.
Grande made good money working for giants Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard, but he knew no one in that industry has true job security.
Everyone is replaceable, he said. But when you start your own business, you have to be there, and its up to you to make it work.
Barton is a self-described Food Network addict who spent 15 years working for VMware, but toward the end, his heart wasnt in it.
I was never a guy who could work someplace for 30 years. I wasnt happy, he said. I want to work for myself.
They scouted locations in different cities, finally narrowing it down to Portland or Oklahoma City. With rents low and Barton having family nearby, they chose to set up shop here.
Originally, they planned on a food truck, but as they examined the market, they saw a need for a great brick-and-mortar sandwich shop. Using local suppliers as much as possible, they built a menu that is fun, inventive and easy to eat.
With sandwiches named Spaulding!, Snake Plissken and Cousin Eddie (and plenty more 1980s-specific references) and a creative ingredient list (artichoke hearts, jalapeño potato chips, red pepper hummus), the pair are sating appetites Monday through Saturday.
If making sandwiches sounds like a step down from the high-stakes world of West Coast tech firms, Barton has an answer for you.
I dont need to be rich, he said. I just want to pay the bills and do something I enjoy.
If the early reviews of The Sandwich Club hold true, paying the bills wont be a problem. The old-school sliced bread sandwich shop has drawn in plenty of customers and good feedback so far though business slows down considerably after lunch, Grande said.
Still, Barton said it has already been a fun ride. And theyve had plenty of people stop in, lean into the counter and enjoy membership in a very tasty club.
The Sandwich Club is open 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
Print headline: Edible 80s, In true retro-fantastic fashion, these two techheads dumped their corporate day jobs and moved to middle America in their quest to find a perfect sandwich.