National Sandwich Chain Brings Colorado Springs Market to New Mall | Subscriber content

When Capriotti sandwich shop opens its first location in Colorado Springs, every day will be like Thanksgiving.

The national chain – whose signature sub-sandwich combines freshly roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing and mayo – plans to open on December 6 at 140 E. Cheyenne Road in the south of the city. Capriotti’s will be part of the new Creekwalk Mall, which is a centerpiece of the city’s South Nevada Avenue redevelopment project.

The location will be second in Colorado for Capriotti’s; the chain’s first restaurant opened at the end of July at Highlands Ranch.

A brother and sister started Capriotti’s 45 years ago in Delaware, naming the store after their grandfather’s name and looking to create a sandwich for “true turkey lovers,” the chain’s website says. This goal led to the concept of the chain roasting whole turkeys overnight to produce freshly cooked meat for sandwiches.

by Capriotti started adding locations in the late 1980s and then franchised the brand, according to the website. Now based in Las Vegas, Capriotti’s has over 125 branches nationwide.

In Colorado Springs, husband and wife franchisees Ron and Christen Sanders say they had never heard of Capriotti’s until the summer of 2017. That’s when Ron started a new job in Las Vegas and his boss Took him to eat at a Capriotti’s, where he said he fell in love with the food.

Christen also frequented Capriotti’s in Las Vegas, which she said reminded her of her first job at a mom and pop bagel store that grew up in Florida.

A graduate of the Air Force Academy, Ron retired in 2012 after more than 27 years of active service in the Air Force. He still works with the military as a strategic planner for a defense contractor from Huntsville, Alabama that supports US Space Command in Springs.

He and Christen, who worked for over 20 years in the restaurant industry, were moving to Colorado Springs as part of Ron’s work with the defense contractor. In 2020, they started exploring the possibility of becoming a Capriotti franchisee.

“We loved the brand, we loved the food,” Ron said of Capriotti’s.

Another franchisee who had planned to bring Capriotti’s to Springs has pulled out for health reasons, Ron said. This opened the door for the Sanders and they jumped at the chance to become franchisees.

There is a lot of competition between sandwich brands, as well as between hamburger, pizza and chicken chains.

In Colorado Springs, Subway, Jimmy John’s, Jersey Mike’s, Firehouse, Which Wich, and Cheba Hut are among the national and regional sandwich shops; local favorites include Wooglin’s, Oliver’s Deli, and East Coast Deli.

However, the Sanders say there is room for Capriotti’s and are confident that the quality of its food will stand out.

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“When you walk into our store you are going to see a freezer by the window, you are going to see whole Butterball turkeys which are specially bred for Capriotti,” Ron said. “We roast whole Butterball turkeys overnight, every night. And that forms the basis of our turkey sandwiches. “

The turkey is served on “The Bobbie,” the Capriotti sandwich that looks like a Thanksgiving meal on bread; it is also a staple of other sandwiches on the menu.

Capriotti’s also uses American Wagyu beef from Snake River Farms, along with freshly made meatballs and tuna, for its made-to-order sandwiches. Pastrami, several varieties of cheesesteak and Italian sausages are among the sandwiches on the menu.

“We don’t get a packet of processed meat that they put in the bottom of a sandwich,” he said. “These are quick and relaxed ingredients, but high-end. “

The Sanders said they liked the Creekwalk concept as a location for their restaurant and were approached by representatives from The Equity Group, the Springs-based real estate company that developed the project.

The 50,000 square foot mall has several new businesses in the market that are in various stages of opening. The center was built along Cheyenne Creek, which serves as a shoppers’ amenity as well as a pedestrian and bicycle friendly sidewalk, seating areas, landscaping, and artwork.

Creekwalk won’t be Capriotti’s last place, however.

As franchisees, the Sanders contracted with the chain to open three locations within three years in El Paso County and Ron said he’s already exploring additional locations. Ultimately, he said the area could support five Capriotti.

Capriotti will employ around 30 full-time and part-time employees, the Sanders said. In addition to an indoor room for 24 people and a patio, a Capriotti application will allow mobile ordering and the restaurant will offer catering.

Edwin S. Wolfe