Photography by Michelle Kilfeather
Ike Shehadeh has pretty much always made sandwiches.
In Part 1, the founder of Ike's Love and Sandwiches takes us back to 1968, when his dad arrived in San Francisco from Saudi Arabia. A decade or so later, his dad met his mom, and Ike, the first of a few kids for the couple, was born.
He describes what it was like to grow up going to various schools in The City, especially the parts involving playing sports. He enjoyed baseball and soccer, but to learn to take hits in football, Ike started martial arts classes in The Sunset.
We end Part 1 with Ike explaining the unique living situation he had in college at UC Davis, and how that would later play a significant role in his business.
In Part 2, Ike talks about how, after a short time in Davis, he came back to The City and found work in a market at 16th and Mission. He would make sandwiches for himself on the job, and one day, a customer who caught a whiff of what Ike was cooking up asked for a very specific type of sandwich. It was the origins of his now-famous "dirty sauce."
Fast-forward a few years through various odd jobs. Ike was at a personal crossroads when he decided to open a breakfast and ice cream place in the Castro that also happened to make sandwiches. Ike's Place was born.
Eventually, the sandwiches Ike sold eclipsed all the other products, and expansion was on the horizon. Ike now has more than 50 sandwich shops located in several states.
We end this episode with Ike sharing his thoughts on San Francisco in the near future.
We recorded this podcast at Ike's Love and Sandwiches in the Tenderloin in November 2020.