Watch Out Subway—There’s an Organic Sandwich Shop in Town

By Radha Marcum, Senior Editor

With a few lush planter boxes full of herbs outside their door, the Organic Sandwich Company’s small shop is light and spacious—nothing to detract from the vibrant colors and flavors that burst from their farm-to-table sandwiches, all made with as many locally sourced organic ingredients as possible. In fact, over 90 percent of ingredients at the shop are organic. Even the kombucha is local and organic.

“Especially our veggies we source from local farms as much as possible,” says Marcy Miller, the shop’s founder. Taking a brief pause in her hectic day behind the scenes, she visits with me over a beautiful tray of sample sandwiches. Although it is harder to get local veggies during the Colorado winter, she points out that a number of her partners do grow year-round—like the nearby farm, Altan Alma, which grows the pea shoots atop the Spicy Veggie sandwich (my favorite so far!)—making some fresh produce available no matter what the temperature is outside.

The mom of two young boys, ages four and six, Miller says she always dreamed of starting her own business. One of four children herself, she grew up in her mom’s Midwest kitchen—always making dinners and appetizers for family and friends. She and her sister, Bonnie Paisley, loved cooking so much that Paisley eventually went to culinary school. Miller, however, detoured into the financial industry for over a decade. After moving to Boulder, Colorado, with her young family a few years ago, Miller decided it was time for a change.

Fast, Fair-Priced Organic

Miller spent a couple years consulting with her sister and plying friends for feedback on new sandwich combos. Dream became reality as Miller launched Organic Sandwich Company at the Boulder Farmers’ Market in 2014.

“I thought, ‘Subway is #1 fast food in the world. Why don’t we have the organic sandwich alternative?’” she says. Miller grew up with a strong appreciation for nature—roaming the woods of Michigan and enjoying fresh foods from her mom’s garden—and so she gravitated toward the many farm-to-table establishments in Boulder from day one. “A lot of farm-to-table restaurants are fancy,” she remarks. “They have awesome food, but my boys are wild! So twenty minutes and $150 later . . . the experience was not relaxing, not cheap. Why not farm-to-table—and fast, not expensive?”

Miller’s secret weapon? Her house-made spreads, such as spicy giardiniera (a fresh, multi-vegetable relish), vegan almond feta, and tomato hot sauce. Add these to crisp, sweet veggies paired with robust flavors of aged cheeses or meats, and what could be better? Miller’s favorite of the veggie sandwiches is the vegan Beetnik, which combines roasted red and gold beets, a luscious vegan almond feta and pea shoots, on a soft and slightly salty pretzel loaf.

Aim High, Keep Evolving

And it isn’t just the sandwiches that are held to such standards. Organic Sandwich Company also offers local-to-Boulder or local-to-Denver kombucha, kefir and spring water, as well as Big B’s juices from Hotchkiss, Colorado. All desserts are house made or local (don’t miss the nut-based, lightly sweetened lemon cakes!). And the shop has “the world’s smallest trash can,” because all of the plates and utensils are compostable, while the cups are . . . you guessed it: glass mason jars.

Since opening in February 2015, the shop has done increasingly well. “In five years, I would love to grow and open more stores in areas that can support this model.” What’s more, Miller is always on the lookout to increase local ingredients. “We’re small, so we can adapt to a changing marketplace. If something local comes, we can switch very quickly.”

Check out the Organic Sandwich Company and learn more at www.organicsandwichcompany.com.