Bringing a Taste of Philly to Southampton
Monty's Sandwich Shop offers a variety of sandwiches and has what some say is a cheesesteak comparable to Philly’s finest.
“There’s a lot of good places to get cheesesteaks,” said Jay Sahl, a customer at Monty's Sandwich Shop . “I consider (this place) right up there with the good cheesesteak places."
Owners Ken Buchholz and Mark Irwin opened their shop in the Hampton Square Shopping Center on Second Street Pike about nine months ago.
Buchholz and Irwin said they envisioned a high quality place, comparable to the where they liked to grab some grub in Philadelphia.
“We figured this area needs something like that,” said Buchholz.
The two met while playing basketball at Council Rock High School. They remained friends through college, where both obtained bachelor’s degrees in business-related fields.
When they decided they were ready for a career change, they spent the next nine months jobless and carefully planning exactly what their sandwich shop would be like.
“From December (2009) to September (2010), we did nothing but research and buy equipment,” said Irwin.
Research included going to their favorite sandwich shops and watching how things were done. They also studied regional sandwiches to make sure their menu was well-represented.
They attribute the unique taste of Monty's sandwiches to the fact they cook and season their own meat.
“We actually go down to the city, buy ribeye and slice it down,” said Buchholz.
And they said they are not about to spare quality just to cut costs.
“It’s a much better taste,” said Irwin.
Buchholz and Irwin said another thing they value is a personal relationship with customers. It is important for them to try to get to know the people who patronize their business.
“I forgot to ask for Russian dressing and they gave it to me,” said Sahl, a self-proclaimed regular.
Along with an expansive menu, Monty’s offers free wifi to encourage customers to stick around.
“Business people do work here as opposed to going in some corner office,” said Buchholz. “We want people to do that."