Jenkintown Walkabout: They Always Come Back to the Hoagie

Maybe the only thing more ubiquitous than the hoagie shop in this area are frustrated Eagles fans. So, finding a hoagie that truly stands out in this packed field is like finding culinary treasure.

Matt Duffin and employees Jazz and Mike.

What makes a great hoagie? Talk to Matt Duffin, and he’ll tell you a great hoagie is stuffed with fresh and homemade ingredients — like those he makes at Mr. Rick’s in Jenkintown.

A Mr. Rick’s hoagie starts with rolls from Abruzzi Bakery into which he piles in the deli meats garnished with fresh veggies and slathered with homemade pesto, garlic mayo, or other condiments, all carefully assembled into an eye-pleasing, mouth-watering feast of a sandwich.

Mr. Rick’s opened its doors last October and has since generated quite the buzz around town. The little shop took over the space left behind by Velvet Sky’s cafe (their bakery is still open), and filled a deli-void in Jenkintown’s center.

Matt Duffin loads up a Cajun turkey hoagie, made with his own Cajun mayo.

Matt who has worked in nothing but food service, walked a career path that included stops at Pudge’s Restaurant, Dominico’s in Blue Bell, and a stint as the catering manager at Citizen’s Bank Park.

“I got tired of that after a while,” he said. Sensing my incredulity at the thought of getting tired of mingling with sporting greatness, he explained, “I mean, it was great seeing all the athletes and the people were interesting, but catering doesn’t give you a lot of room for creativity.”

But why toil in such a competitive environment? Like most who succeed in this business, food service is just in Matt’s blood, and while nothing is a lock, people just love hoagies.

“People can go out and try all different kinds of food — which is great — but they always come back to this.”

Find Mr. Rick’s (named for Matt’s father) on 303 Leedom Street, right across the street from the Jenkintown Town Square.

Today, Matt not only owns Mr. Rick’s, but he’s also the force behind Tommy D’s Cheesesteaks in Ambler and Wyndmoor.

With the warmer weather coming, he looks forward to a busy year. Jenkintown’s Town Square always has a busy event calendar, and Mr. Rick’s will be there to with its wide selection of hoagies, wraps, sandwiches, and coming soon, water ice.

We love walking the walkable communities, so GlensideLocal will take a stroll and present our readers with the people that give us all these great stores, restaurants, and other small businesses that make Glenside and Jenkintown such attractive places to live, work, and visit.