Yesterday, I received word that the small, healthy-oriented Pockets sandwich chain in Chicago is actively looking to expand its number of units around the city and beyond.
For those of you who live outside the big cties or prefer your food grub good and greasy,
Pockets is a pita-inspired sandwich chain - nine locations in the city and one in the ’burbs - that positions itself as an alternative to less-healthy fast-food options.
In addition to pocket-bread sandwiches, the chain also serves salads and calzones.
It’s a nice change of pace for fans of both sandwiches and salads, which these pita-type sandwiches fuse together as one.
In my post-collegiate urban dwelling days, we would frequent Pockets on a regular basis.
These pocket-bread sandwiches have found a bit of a following among fans of the famed chapati (sometimes misspelled as “chipati,” or perhaps the misspelling is purposeful) of the University of Michigan.
This take on Indian flatbread, here presented as a sandwich, features “chipati sauce,” which ardent bloggers have determined is a mixture of hot sauce, ranch dressing and ketchup.
From what I can tell (I was a Boilermaker, not a Wolverine), the stuffings vary from chipati to chipati, but all feature the secret sauce. (Outside of Ann Arbor, “chapati” is actually just the name for the Indian fried flatbread and is traditionally served with dal or curry.)
Lots of folks also rave about the bread the chain uses as the basis of its sandwiches not quite a pita, not quite a ciabatta.
Concepts like this could provide a nice alternative to typical sandwich fare in the QSR market. Here, the company has combined elements of freshness, health, ethnic food, regional appeal, and all-natural fresh-baked bread to create its following - all aspects that drive current consumer behavior.
Should be interesting to see how the chain grows in the coming years.