Hunter Pond isn’t your average 28-year-old. The Dallas native has logged time in law school (until he didn’t) and heads a burgeoning sandwich empire that landed him on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list after just three years in business. Go big or go home, right?
Big is an apt description of Pond’s three-year-old concept, East Hampton Sandwich Company, which expanded into Plano in 2013 and is poised to launch seven more regional locations in the coming years.
Pond’s parents weren’t exactly thrilled when he abruptly quit law school. Eventually they supported his decision, but encouraged him to learn the restaurant business before jumping into his own endeavor. He started from the bottom with a job washing dishes at Eno’s in Dallas, a popular pizza joint.
After paying his dues in the restaurant industry, Pond, along with business partner Kyle Brooks, opened the first East Hampton Sandwich Company in 2012 in Dallas’ Snider Plaza. When customers lined up around the corner before the doors even opened, Hunter knew East Hampton had a good shot at success.
Of course, mistakes were made in those first days of his new venture. Pond admits to biting off more than he could chew but says, “The quality of our product excused a lot of our errors early on.”
And what a product it is. East Hampton Sandwich Company focuses on fresh ingredients inside and out, from the house-roasted meats and handmade sauces to the fresh produce and local artisan breads. “The market was starved for a sandwich restaurant that focuses on ingredient quality and not on simply having different bread,” Pond says. In short, don’t expect the high-sodium, slimy meats you get from other sandwich chains. East Hampton uses only proteins that are purely brined, marinated and roasted. Hence, its unexpected motto: #NoMoreDeliMeat.
In November 2013, Hunter opened a second location in Plano’s Shops at Legacy. He says the Plano location is the most family friendly of all the locations and has the largest patio.
The menu and concept pair well with an area known for artisanal food and wine culture. The cash register stands in front of a long row of white cabinets and a gleaming white countertop meant to resemble a family kitchen. Wooden rafters float above a dining room decked in crisp navy and white. The patio sports red Adirondack chairs and wooden posts knotted with thick ropes, which lend a nautical vibe.
So, what’s on the menu? Pond rolls off some of the greatest hits: the Turkey, Bacon and Avocado; the Fried Chicken and Jack; the Lobster Roll; and the Balsamic Tenderloin. His personal favorite? The Fried Chicken and Jack with extra jalapeño cream sauce. The ingredients are so fresh you’d think the lobster just delivered from an East Coast fishmonger.
The portions are generous, and every sandwich comes with the option of homemade potato chips or sweet potato fries. Not a fan of carbs? Eighty-six the bread and make any sandwich on the menu a salad. Actually, that’s not 100 percent true. The kiddos’ favorite, the Toasted Fluffernutter, made with creamy peanut butter and marshmallow crème, can’t be ordered as a salad, but your kids probably won’t mind.
East Hampton Sandwich Company considers itself more than just a sandwich place. It’s also a perfect spot to meet up with a few friends after work (hello, $3 microbrewery drafts!). The helpful staff and the quality of the food will undoubtedly exceed expectations. Guests might even feel like sending Pond a thank-you note for leaving law school to turn his attention to crafting gourmet sandwiches.
Currently there are three East Hampton locations—Plano, Dallas-Snider Plaza and Fort Worth—with a fourth location opening any day now in Turtle Creek in Dallas. Pond hopes to have seven more locations in Texas by 2017, and faithful East Hampton Sandwich Company devotees cannot wait! #EHsandwich #ThankYouHunterPEast Hampton Sandwich Website >