A FORMER TRADER SWAPPED HIS FIRST CAREER FOR A TASTIER ONE, WHERE THE CUSTOMER IS KING
BY GILDA ROGERS
First, the name stops you: Sub Ology Gourmet Sub Shop. Once inside, the letters WFL (an acronym for “What’s for Lunch”) direct your eye to a roster of hot and cold submarine sandwiches, club sandwiches, salads, wraps, and more listed on an oversized chalkboard all made using locally baked bread. From Turkey and Avocado with roasted red peppers and hummus, to the popular Jalapeno Chicken, to the classic best seller, the Italian.
Located in the heart of a bustling and rejuvenated Cranford, a few blocks from the train station and steps from the New Vision Cranford movie theater, Sub Ology was designed to be the kind of place that’s easy to return to, especially if you work in the area. Paolo Fontana, who gave up a 20 year career on Wall Street as a trader, told us that he couldn’t be happier serving the public after sitting behind a desk and looking at a screen for all those years.
“I had no contact with people then,” said Fontana. “This is a whole lot more satisfying.”
Open seven days a week, Sub Ology is now in its prime during football season, particularly when the New York Giants and Jets are at home. “People will call and order eight, nine, ten subs at a time,” the owner said. He also revealed that Giants quarterback Eli Manning “supposedly” lives nearby and has been spotted walking around town.
And with the holiday season in full swing, Fontana is gearing up catering services for office parties, home parties, and other special events. His list of “Signature Sandwiches” includes enticing names like “The Chicken Sloppy Joe,” “The Loriana,” and “Kicking Chicken.” (Fontana offers $25 off catering with a minimum order of $100. Customers must place orders online at order.catering/SUBCRAN and use the promo code: “SUBCRAN”.) Customized wrap platters start at $56.99, and buffet platters, made with four Boar’s Head premium meats and two cheeses, start at $9.95 per person and include fresh baked rolls, potato and macaroni salads, and coleslaw (minimum 20 people). Specialty hot subs and trays are another option for gatherings, available with pulled pork or baked ziti and meatballs. There are also salads, along with gluten free sub rolls, cookies, and snacks. Fresh homemade roast beef and turkey are cooked daily on premises.
Fontana’s aim is also to give customers a reason besides the food to come back. Last year, for example, he raffled off a 42 inch color television. All customers were required to do was drop a ticket in a jar (and as often as they liked). It offers table seating and bar seating that faces windows overlooking downtown Cranford. There’s also free parking in the Wells Fargo parking lot and free Wi Fi.
“The business has been growing and the support we get from the town is fantastic,” said Fontana. “We’re a deli that delivers in more ways than one. And if someone orders a sandwich and doesn’t like it, he or she can exchange it for another one. The customer’s taste is the only taste that counts.”
Sub-Ology Gourmet Sub Shop
17 North Avenue West, Cranford
908.276.5250 / sub-ology.com