Member Spotlight - Potbelly Sandwich Shop

Chris Maples, owner, Potbelly Sandwich Shop

Q: What’s the best thing about doing business in Middle Tennessee?
A: Without a doubt, it’s the support you receive as a small business owner from the local city government and the people/community that patronize your business. I came from Chicago, which is such a wonderful city, but compared to Nashville, you get the feeling that one city wants to partner and help you develop your small business, versus the other doing everything they can to make it as tough as possible to ever fulfill a dream.

Q: What’s your biggest goal for your restaurant in the next year?
A: I just hope that anyone that walks through our door feels like they were treated like family and that any cent they spend with us was well worth it. I’m a throwback in the sense that I love providing great service. I don’t want any business that I haven’t earned. If we can do that, then I think we will succeed. Close behind that, I just hope that my employees love working for me and know how much I appreciate all that they do. I’ve been so blessed with finding a wonderful team.

Q: What is unique or special about your food?
A: We truly do everything by hand and scratch. What’s more, our bread is taken out of the oven before it’s finished. We send it through our toaster oven once the meat and cheese are on the sandwich, and the toaster oven completes the baking process so that our bread comes out flaky on the outside crust with the perfect soft, chewy inside. We import the highest-quality Italian meats, American meat and European cheeses. We top it all with Italian peppers that have their own fan page. You combine all that with our service, and we think it’s something everyone will enjoy.

Q: What is the best advice you ever received?

A: Tough times don’t last, but tough people do. My mom is the most amazing person and hardest worker I’ve ever known. She raised four kids and never accepted or received a penny of support from anyone. She had every reason in the world to be bitter and pass that on to her kids. However, she instilled the best work ethic and toughness in us all that we’ve defied all odds and hopefully made her proud. There isn’t anything in this world we won’t face that, if we make up our mind, we can’t overcome.  

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