Is there anything better than a really good sandwich? Lucy Holm doesn’t think so: in fact she’s just opened up a new shop that does pretty much nothing but sandwiches – or, as she calls them, sandoochies.
“Sandoochie is just what I used to call sandwiches with my friends … and it just kind of stuck,” she told Region Media.
Lucy has worked at a number of highly regarded newcomers in the Canberra scene: Bar Rochford, Rebel Rebel and Louis Couttope’s contemporary dining pop-up Kiosk.
With fellow chef Lachlan Cutting – now owner and baker at Under bakery in Mawson and supplying the bread – she found her inspiration in the often-overlooked staff meal.
“We used to make a lot of sandwiches for staff meals at Kiosk and I was, like, why isn’t there a good answer to a good sandwich in Canberra? Just something fresh, something simple, something fast, and something interesting. And I guess that’s when I started tinkering around, making heaps of sandwiches at home.”
Lucy first tested the waters by running a pop-up in No Name Lane, which quickly proved that people in Canberra loved her sandwiches as much as her fellow chefs, so she’s now taken the leap to opening the shop permanently.
“The old space was leased to me for two months and it went so well I was just like ‘this is a no-brainer’,” she said.
The shop will run with a rotating menu of four different daily sandwiches – two meat, two veg – as well as a variety of cakes and slices.
The pop-up had a few staples like the Waldorf salad inspired poached chicken sandwich, which was hugely popular and stayed on the menu. A menu change in the last day or two, however, saw even better feedback on a butter chicken inspired sandwich, so this time Lucy is keen to mix things up.
“I think some of the creations are really straighty-one-eighty and some of them are a bit more out there I guess, which has been a really fun journey,” she said.
There will be a few other menu specials and sweet treats depending on the day, and she’s hoping to offer something interesting to keep people coming back for lunch breaks.
The space has been outfitted with colourful tiles and the menu will be displayed on a hanging roll of brown butcher’s paper.
The light wooden benchtops on wheels will give Lucy the versatility to set up at the front door for quick takeaway options on sunny mornings, or retreat into the cosy interior for colder days.
There will also be a shelf selling a mix of carefully curated foodie items: native spices and tea blends from Melbourne business Mabu Mabu, hot sauces with recipe ideas from Lucy’s other chef friends, and flour from agroecological farm and mill Woodstock Flour.
So what makes the ideal sandwich? Lucy reckons the key is to start with a ‘main event’ ingredient and then build from there, balancing crunch, flavour and fat in the accompanying sauces and toppings.
“And to the edges! It’s got to be to the edges,” she laughed. “I was actually thinking about naming this place ‘To The Edges’.
“It’s just those little things that, for me, make the perfect sandwich.”
Sandoochie is located at Shop 8, 40 Marcus Clarke Steet, ACT in No Name Lane. They’re open from 11 am to 3 pm from Monday to Friday and on Saturday from 12 pm to 3 pm. You can follow them on Instagram, or visit their website to stay up to date with the menu.