Sandella's Flatbread Café
|Founded||Redding, Connecticut (1994 )|
|Founder(s)||Michael J. Stimola
President and CEO
|Headquarters||9 Brookside Place, West Redding, CT, United States|
|Number of locations||79 (as of 28 August 2011)
|Key people||Michael Stimola|
|Products||Italian-Mexican fusion cuisine, pizza, quesadillas and sandwiches|
Sandella's Flatbread Café is an international restaurant chain, founded by Michael J. Stimola, known for its proprietary flatbread. Sandella's is headquartered in West Redding, Connecticut and has restaurants in the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Malta and Saudi Arabia.
Michael J. Stimola opened the first Sandella's as a small coffee and sandwich shop in Redding, Connecticut in 1994. This original Sandella's, named for his wife Sandy and mother Ellajane, offered traditional sandwiches on baguettes and artisan breads. Flatbread was introduced in 1996, a novel concept in the United States at that time. After developing new ways to use the flatbread (for paninis, quesadillas, pizzas, salads, and rice bowls), Stimola eventually dropped the other artisan breads and began to offer all of his menu items on this new proprietary flatbread. The flatbread differs from traditional tortillas which use vegetable shortening to keep the tortillas soft. Sandella's bread is traditional lavash, soft when fresh but dries to a crispy cracker-like texture when exposed to air over time. Stimola says, "Today, many of the products being sold as flatbread contain preservatives and fat to make them flexible; not ours." In 1997, the company expanded and opened additional stores in New York City. Following the events of September 11, 2001, Mr. Stimola took the company in a new direction, focusing on non-traditional locations, and opened its first college location in 2002 at Louisiana State University. Today, Sandella's can be found in more than 60 college campuses and corporate and healthcare facilities. In 2009, Sandella's opened its first overseas location at the American University in Dubai, UAE and in 2010, opened its first airport location at Newark Liberty International Airport. As of 2011, 79 locations were listed on the company's web site.
Expansion and acquisition
Sandella's company began to expand in the Middle East. In early 2009, its first location was in Dubai, the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with additional stores opening in Dubai and Khobar, Saudi Arabia. In April 2013, an additional branch in Malta was opened.
|United States||1994||Connecticut and more 27 states|
|United Arab Emirates||2009||Sharjah and Dubai|
|Saudi Arabia||2010||Al-Khobar, Dahran and Dammam|
- Fast Casual Top 100 Movers & Shakers Award 2008
- 2007 Top Movers & Shakers List Number 44 - Fast Casual Magazine
- Number 252 on Restaurants & Institutions Top 400 Chains List
- Future 50' List – Restaurant Business 2006
- Seventh fastest growing food concept in the US! - Restaurant Business 
- Listed in Weight Watchers Points Guide
- Official website
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- Chronister, Bill (April 28, 2009). "Two partners banking on Sandella's healthy fare". Columbus Dispatch (Dispatch Printing Company). Retrieved August 14, 2011.
- Leach, Tanya Bricking; Associated Press (January 2, 2008). "Ancient flatbread enjoying billowing sales and options". Houston Chronicle (Hearst Newspapers). Retrieved August 14, 2011.