Our Story

Sandwich Spot Thrives

The best part of Corey Saldana’s day, besides playing tennis and socializing with the regulars in his sandwich store, is when new customers walk in, look at the big menu board behind the counter and laugh.

Instead of focusing solely on the ingredients of the sandwiches, people get distracted by the recognizable (No. 8, ‘But it’s a Dry Heat’), the clever (No. 13, ‘The Sunny and Share’), and the inappropriate (No. 24, ‘The MILF’). The names begin to dictate the order. People who don’t like cream cheese go with a No. 6, ‘The Jamal.’ Others who weren’t thinking of having barbeque sauce with their lunch, order a No. 9, ‘The Gene Autry.’

The point is, what these sandwiches are called is important. Saldana spent three months debating names and presenting potential finalists to his friends before The Sandwich Spot opened. He didn’t have any interest in opening another bland, “PC sandwich” store.

It’s All in the Name

After finding the perfect bread and doing research on the area, Saldana decided on a counter service store that would offer affordable but filling sandwiches to customers. So he opted to open his own location of The Sandwich Spot, a specialty sandwich shop with more than 20 locations across California.

The names of his products were, and are, crucial to the experience. Saldana wanted less obvious names that were out of the norm, but also wanted them to honor local celebrities and events. So instead of calling the No. 11 ‘The Suzanne Somers,’ it’s ‘The Thighmaster.’ Instead of No. 23 being ‘The Lucille Ball,’ it’s ‘The Frowzy Redhead.’ The No. 1 isn’t called ‘The Frank Sinatra,’ it’s ‘The Chairman of the Board.’ Others, like No. 12, ‘The Bear Necessities,’ and No. 5, ‘The Dinah,’ pay homage in a way that’s obvious to locals and less clear to tourists.

What Makes his Shop Different

Along with customer service and interesting sauce combinations, Saldana thinks unique naming is what makes his shop different. Business has tripled since opening in March 2012. The line to the counter builds out the door every day, sometimes more than once. Plus, there are regulars who have been eating lunch at the Sandwich Spot every week for three years, people who Saldana has gotten to know as friends more than customers.

Those relationships weren’t something he expected when he first opened his sandwich shop, but it’s become one of his greatest sources of joy.

“It sounds so trite, but getting to know the people who support our business on a regular basis, getting to hear about their lives, jobs, partners, it’s been a really interesting and rewarding human experience,” Saldana said. “It’s not really about the sandwich any more for me. My reward is getting to know these people.”