After a quick stint at law school, Hunter Pond decided his true passion laid with the restaurant business.
“I just felt this gravitational pull to the industry and it was strong enough... [that] I dropped out of law school after one semester,” said Pond. “...It was a rough three months trying to convince everybody that this was the right move for me.”
On this episode of The Barron Report, our host, Paul Barron, sits down with Hunter Pond, CEO of East Hampton Sandwich Co. to learn how this concept came to be and made its way to become the top Sandwich Innovator concept from our free Top 50 Sandwich Innovator Report.
“I studied the marketplace and I saw that the key differentiator in all of the fast casual sandwich players out there was the bread,” said Pond.
According to Pond, everything that went in between the breads tasted the same, from the lettuce and tomatoes to the meats.
“I kind of looked at it as a mathematical equation and thought, ‘if we could just figure out a way… to utilize our kitchen to focus on what goes in between the bread, I can outsource the bread baking to local European-style bakeries and that would produce, in theory, a higher quality product,” said Pond.
Hunter Pond wanted East Hampton to be the ingredient artisan of the sandwich category while partnering with a bread artisan to provide best sandwich possible to consumers.
Take a listen to the podcast above to learn more about East Hampton’s beginnings and future plans!
00:51 - Top 50 Sandwich Innovator Report
02:18 - How Hunter Pond Got His Start
05:50 - Inspiration for East Hampton
07:25 - Key Differentiator in the Fast Casual Sandwich Segment
09:13 - Consumer Driver Is Ingredient Quality
10:27 - Quality Beyond The Food
13:03 - Future Plans for East Hampton
15:47 - Sourcing
24:21 - Instagram
27:42 - Hiring & Real Estate Challenges
30:40 - Hunter Pond’s Industry Outlook
About the Report
The free Top 50 Sandwich Innovator Report is based off a sandwich study conducted by our sister company, Foodable Labs. “We put together a study that looked a consumer sentiment around mentions of their favorite sandwiches and then we poured out the shops and concepts that came out on top through our algorithm…,” says Barron. That’s the same algorithm that ranks Foodable’s Top 25 Restaurants in each city, for example.