If there is one thing that people associate with Jay’s Catering, it’s “Jay’s Famous Palm Sandwich”. This 42 year old sandwich is made on a freshly-baked cheese roll and stacked with Turkey, Ham, or Roast Beef. Sound simple? That’s because it is—simply delicious.
Jay and Eleanor Mastroianni created the Palm Sandwich in 1972 for Mercury Savings and Loan. Mercury’s Lunch Program provided free lunches to those who would listen to a short presentation on the benefits of banking with them.
Up until this time, traditional cold buffets were inconvenient and time consuming. People had to assemble their own sandwiches from meat, bread, and condiment platters. This method clearly wasn’t working for Mercury’s Lunch Program. But, necessity is, indeed, the mother of invention. The Mastroiannis knew that landing Mercury as their first account would mean meeting a huge financial goal for their then-fledgling catering business. Together, Jay and Eleanor incepted the idea of the Palm Sandwich (so named because it is small enough to fit in the palm of one’s hand), which was already assembled. It was accompanied by three salads, relish, and carrot cake. The Mastroianni’s straightforward, cold buffet lunch worked—and the Palm Sandwich was the star of the concept.
Jay and Eleanor landed the Mercury account after introducing the Palm Sandwich Cold Lunch Buffet. Their new Lunch Program was so successful that Jay’s Catering was hired to bring it into Mercury’s 7 other branches. Mercury quickly developed a wait list for their free lunches and, with all of the free advertising they received, Jay and Ellie were no longer running a fledgling catering business. This tasty sandwich—initially designed to easily feed a large group of people—catapulted the Mastroiannis into a new level of profit and prosperity.
After four decades, the Palm Sandwich is still Jay’s Catering’s most ordered item. The Palm Sandwich Special at our café, Ellie's Table, is the most popular dish there, too. This boutique-sized sandwich has also become a tradition at events; all because this innovative couple decided, through necessity, to take things back to basics. Together, they came up with an idea that appeals to everyone—young and old alike. As a result, the Palm Sandwich—the essence and foundation of Jay’s Catering—continues to be loved because we continue to make it with fresh, delicious ingredients.