Meet the Staff
Bringing you Delicious Dishes and Outstanding Customer Service
For the past 25 years Michele has been cooking up creative and delicious dishes throughout the Wyoming Valley. Inspired by her love of food, from upscale cuisine to street food, Michele decided to pursue training at the International Culinary Academy in Pittsburgh. She has also received a Bachelors of Science in Nutrition Science. Her resume includes various restaurants in the Pittsburgh area, Chef at DH Oliver foods in Dallas, Chef at Gerrity’s Market and owner of Nourishment Personal Chef Service, LLC. Over the years Michele has catered many private events, weddings and corporate lunches. She has also worked as an event coordinator.
The idea of The Sandwich Shoppe came to Michele as a way of being in the business but also having a schedule conducive to being a mom. The Shoppe opened in August of 2015 inside Cook’s Pharmacy. The Sandwich Shoppe offers hoagies and sandwiches, with an emphasis on Italian subs. You will also find salads, homemade soups and desserts. New to the Shoppe will be dinners to take home. These dinners will rotate weekly with no set menu. The recent addition of a catering menu will be an added convenience for those looking to feed a crowd. It is important to note that all menu items on the dinner and catering menu are homemade.
With the intent to make available more selections and dinners to take home, Michele recently hired Al Cuba. Al has been working in the food service industry for many years. He was the owner and operator of Shorty’s Pizza in Luzerne. Michele and Al’s combined experience and knowledge will be an exciting addition to the back mountain food scene. The Sandwich Shoppe has renovated their food prep area and created a dining room for eat in customers. The thoughtfully designed space is comfortable and clean and quite private for being in the middle of a busy, established pharmacy.
The History of the Sandwich Shoppe
by Frank Lombardo, Cook's Pharmacy Owner
Well, we can’t hide it anymore! If you’ve stopped by Cook’s Pharmacy recently, you surely didn’t miss the new sandwich shop we put at the front of the store. We’ve given it the inspired name of “The Sandwich Shoppe at Cook’s” — notice the fancy spelling of “shop.” Our takeout sandwich shop has about a dozen sandwiches on the menu, plus daily specials, soups, and salads to choose from. We use quality ingredients in our sandwiches, including the finest meats from Murazzi.
Here’s where the whole idea began. At the beginning of this year, my wife, Michele, and I realized that the kids have been getting older. Michele has been a stay-at-home mom for several years, but she had a career as a chef prior to that, and has been wanting to get back into the culinary world for a while. When she told me she wanted to open a sandwich shop, I admit I was a bit reluctant. It sounded like that would mean another business with rent, payroll, and a host of other new responsibilities. But my wife thought of a genius compromise: opening the store inside of Cook’s Pharmacy. It turned out to be the ideal solution, so we hired an architect and started construction at the beginning of June. Building the shop required a pretty hefty renovation, but it only took a few months, and the results speak for themselves!
The shop seems to have universal appeal. Older people appreciate it as a kind of throwback to the days of lunch counters in pharmacies, while young students like to stop by and grab a quick, affordable meal. We have even reached out to other businesses, sending them samples so they know they have a new option for lunch! In many cases, we’ve gotten an order from a business the next day after sending them a sample.
The cool thing about our shop is that my wife is putting her culinary knowledge to the test. She creates the menu, makes the food, and runs the shop. An employee of ours who used to be part time has moved over to the shop to help Michele full time, and we’re starting to train another employee — so the shop is already growing!
For now, if you like the idea of a fresh, gourmet sandwich, I invite you to stop by the Sandwich Shoppe at Cook’s and see what we’re cooking! – Frank Lombardo