Article by Michael Hinkelman of the Philly Daily News
NICOLE MARIE CAPP, 26, and Justin Matt Sapolsky, 28, both of Center City, are co-founders of Matt & Marie's Italian Sandwiches on 18th Street near Arch. The two are Wharton MBA graduates and were finalists in the 2013-14 Wharton Business Plan Competition. In 2013, Matt & Marie's began as a catering business but this year shifted to a brick-and-mortar store that opened on June 30. I spoke with Capp.
Q: How'd you come up with the idea for Matt & Marie's?
A: Matt and I both wanted to open up a place in the fast-casual space with Italian sandwiches. We started brainstorming in 2012 and worked with a chef at New York Vintners to flesh out recipes and come up with modern, fresh takes on toppings and sandwich components.
Q: Startup money?
A: We bootstrapped it with our own resources.
Q: What makes Matt & Marie's sandwiches different?
A: We have seven signature sandwiches, all modern Italian and each costs $8.50. If you look at our salamis and cheeses, they're made by artisans in very small batches each year. Our sharp provolone is from Claudio's. We make our own pickled fresh toppings. At most Italian delis there are many salamis, cheeses and multiple combinations. We have seven with a perfect balance of the five flavor profiles: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami.
Q: Who are your customers? What's the profile?
A: Mostly working professionals in the area. All ages. We've also had families, moms bringing in their kids. We've had workers who are working on the new Comcast tower.
Q: How big a biz?
A: We have seven full-time employees, not including Matt and myself. Matt and I share management duties.
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