Sandella's Flatbread Café

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Sandella's Flatbread Café
Industry Restaurant
Founded Redding, Connecticut (1994 (1994))
Founder Michael J. Stimola
President and CEO
Headquarters 9 Brookside Place, West Redding, CT, United States
Number of locations
130 (as of 28 May 2015)
United States
Saudi Arabia
Area served
Key people
Michael Stimola
Products Fresh wraps, pizza, quesadillas and panini sandwiches incorporating a fresh eclectic fusion of flavors from around-the-world (Italian, Brazilian, Mediterranean, Mexican, etc)
Slogan Eat right, right away!
Sandella's Flatbread Café Al-khobar, Saudi Arabia front view

Sandella's Flatbread Café is an international "fast-casual" 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, India 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."[1] 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.[2]

Expansion and acquisition[edit]

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.

International operations[edit]

Country First opening Cities
 United States 1994 Connecticut and more 27 states
 United Arab Emirates 2009 Sharjah and Dubai
 Saudi Arabia 2010 Al-Khobar, Dhahran and Dammam
 Malta 2013 Luqa
 India 2013 Vadodara


  1. Fast Casual Top 100 Movers & Shakers Award 2008
  2. 2007 Top Movers & Shakers List Number 44 - Fast Casual Magazine
  3. Number 252 on Restaurants & Institutions Top 400 Chains List
  4. Future 50' List – Restaurant Business 2006
  5. Seventh fastest growing food concept in the US! - Restaurant Business [3]
  6. Listed in Weight Watchers Points Guide


  1. ^ Davis, Sabrina. "Ones to Watch". QSR Magazine July 2007. Journalistic, Inc. Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  2. ^ See pages linked from for details.
  3. ^ The Restaurant Business

External links[edit]