A proven team pulls off yet another success.
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A Philly sandwich maker hopes to stake a claim on the Delaware sub set.
Watch out, sandwich barons of Delaware. You’ve got company. And it’s packin’ prosciutto with lots of addy-tude.
There are now four locations of Primo Hoagies in Delaware, the latest in Bear. The chain, which began in South Philadelphia, now owns 53 locations in the region.
Mike Aruanno, who owns a Primo in Newark, is director of franchising. Primo, he says, is ready to grab Delaware by the cappicola.
Primo already has a big cheerleader in the UD football team, which devours about 120 Italian, turkey, and ham and cheese hoagies during pre-road trip lunches.
“I’m a huge fan of Primo Hoagies, for a lot of reasons—great service, and the rolls are unbelievable,” says UD director of football operations Jerry Oravitz.
Famous for its high-quality deli meats from Thumann’s, Primo has reeled in celebrity fans such as Bill Cosby and Flyers great Keith Primeau with authentic Italian touches such as prosciutto, fresh mozzarella and broccoli rabe.
“We’re like a cult thing,” Aruanno says. “If you stand in one of our stores for a few minutes, somebody would start going off unsolicited about our product. Where else does that happen? People actually babble about our product.”
In Delaware, Primo will compete with icons Capriotti’s and Casapulla’s, both of which have fiercely loyal customers. That makes Delaware a tough market to crack.
“We’ve got to get people to understand it’s a different product,” Aruanno says. “Capriotti’s and Casapulla’s are a comfort food to people here, and we’re that to Philly. So I think there’s room for all of us.”
Just don’t walk into Primo and order a sub. Or a grinder, hero, zeppelin, torpedo or cosmo, for that matter. “In Delaware, I tease people, ‘If you want a sub, go down the street,’” says Aruanno, who lives in Middletown. “If you want a hoagie, come to us. It’s a Philly thing.” —Matt Amis
Page 7: Ahhhhhhh... | Summer may end this month, but that doesn't mean the heat has gone away. When your tongue needs some coolant, check out these homemade water ices and gelati.