|Private company corporation|
|Industry||Foodservice, Fast food|
|Founded||1902 in Portland, Maine|
|Headquarters||Portland, Maine, United States|
|Dominic Reali, CEO|
|Products||Italian sandwich, pizza, pasta, salad|
Amato's Sandwich Shops, Inc., is a chain of Italian restaurants that serves sandwiches, pizza and pasta throughout northern New England, United States. Founded in 1902 by Giovanni Amato, Amato's currently operates 44 stores. Recent expansion has been in the form of franchising, most notably in Irving Oil/Circle K locations in Maine and New Hampshire and Maplefields locations in Vermont and northeastern New York. The company also cans its spaghetti and pizza sauces for sale in Hannaford supermarkets.
Headquartered in Portland, Amato's operates over 40 locations. About half of these are located throughout their home state of Maine. The chain also has a strong presence in Vermont (mostly within Maplefields convenience stores), and there are a handful of other locations within New Hampshire and the Adirondack region of New York.
In 1902, Giovanni Amato and his wife opened a store on India Street in Portland, Maine. According to official literature, Amato's sandwiches contained ham, American cheese, and fresh vegetables, which the Italian immigrants along the waterfront seemed to enjoy. Amato named his sandwich the "Italian" in honor of his country and his people (not, as is widely believed, because of its ingredients).
In 1972, Dominic Reali, an employee at the original Amato's on India Street, purchased the store from his boss. Under Reali, the company increased from one store to twelve, and began franchising. Reali also added Greek olives, sour pickles, and his own oil (a blend of olive and vegetable oil) to the famous Real Italian.
In recent years, Amato's has allowed several franchises to operate under the name Amato's Xpress. These locations, found mostly in Irving Oil/Circle K convenience stores, sell Amato's pizza, pasta, salads, and sandwiches, but fewer specialty items. The Irving locations also have unique monthly specials while the others do not. Amato's franchises in Vermont-based Maplefield's gas stations do not use the Amato's Xpress name.
Nearly all Amato's stores have dropped the Xpress moniker as of 2011.