Lea Dalleggio didn’t want to be a movie star or president of the United States when she grew up. All she wanted to be was an owner of a casual dining chain called Schlotzsky’s. As a child, Lea would travel from her home in Monmouth County, New Jersey to spend summers with her grandmother in Houston, Texas. She started eating at Schlotzsky’s when she was five years old and for two decades begged her father to open a restaurant in the Garden State. Upon her completion of undergraduate and MBA programs at Rutgers University, the 25 year old finally got her wish. Her father, Anthony Dalleggio, bought the New Jersey franchise rights to Schlotzsky’s as an investment for his family and Lea was soon on her way to running not only her first business, but New Jersey’s first Schlotzsky’s. Dalleggio and her family plan to open an additional 16 locations in the Garden State over the next five years.
“As a child, I loved the freshly baked buns, the smell of the restaurant, the bright colors and the delicious sandwiches and salads,” said Lea Dalleggio, Englewood Schlotzsky’s franchise co-owner. “Schlotzsky’s signature sandwich The Original®, a play on the New Orleans muffaletta with soft bread encasing tender meats, cheeses, lettuce, tomato and chopped olives, was something I dreamed about as a kid when I wasn’t in Texas. My goal was to bring this distinctive sandwich on bread baked from scratch, salad and soup restaurant concept to the Garden State where I could get my year-round fix while providing the community with a completely new dining option that would be as attractive to kids as it would be adults. We have fans driving to Englewood from Virginia to enjoy our sandwiches. That’s how much of a following the brand has. People stockpile our potato chips, which are made exclusively for Schlotzsky’s and come in nine varieties, to complement all our sandwiches.”
Located in the Englewood ShopRite Plaza at 39 Nathaniel Place, the casual dining eatery is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM – 8:30 PM, Saturday from 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM and Sunday from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM. The restaurant also offers Cinnabon cinnamon rolls and self-serve Carvel ice cream. The restaurant serves Jersey Roasters Coffee, a blend produced in the Garden State, and will soon offer yogurt and fruit salad breakfast selections. The location has bold, bright colors, making it a good venue for birthday parties and sports team league gatherings. The restaurant offers catering in the region with minimum orders of $30. For more information, call (201) 608-5422 or visit www.schlotzskys.com.
Heidi Raker Goldstein is our Bergen county regional editor. A locavore, cooking enthusiast, publicist and mother of three junior gourmands. Heidi is equally comfy in greasy spoons and high-end restaurants. When not visiting local farmers markets and farm stands in Bergen and Rockland counties, this New England native, former Manhattanite and Bergen county resident is busy running her PR and green marketing agency, Raker Goldstein & Co., buying food, planning menus, cooking food, writing about food or simply eating. Heidi also writes at Redhead With A Fork, a life|style blog. To reach Heidi, email her [email protected]