EXPECT MORE THAN JUST A SANDWICH.
Moochie’s got its start in the back of the Circle Pottery Gift Shop, where Don MacDonald had been creating beautiful handmade pottery for over 30 years. A well-respected Master Potter, Don started out in a small garage in Magna, then became affiliated with “Stone Age Pottery” and taught and managed their classes for them. He opened the Circle Pottery retail gift shop at 232 East 800 South in Salt Lake City in 1987, where he made and sold his beautiful handmade pottery. Don’s work is collected all over the world and he has received numerous awards in local and national competitions since he started making pots in high school.
One magical day he met Joanna Rendi and that’s when his life got REALLY good! (Guess who wrote this.) In October 2000, Don & Joanna purchased a warehouse around the corner from the gift shop and turned it into the Circle Pottery School of Clay Arts and moved Don’s clay production studio there. The Gift Shop continued to operate as a retail business.
When the Winter Olympics came around in 2002, they closed the gift shop for some remodeling and decided to put in a little kitchen in the back. Joanna, who is originally from Philadelphia, had a long standing dream of owning a little sandwich shop like the ones she grew up with in Philly. Specifically, she really wanted to introduce AUTHENTIC Philly Cheesesteaks into the Salt Lake area, as there was just nothing like it at the time. MOOCHIE’s Meatballs and More was born in September 2003, serving fresh homemade Italian food and the best Philly Cheesesteaks and meatball sandwiches in Utah. Where did the name “Moochie’s” come from? It’s a nickname Joanna got from her dad that comes from an Italian word we can’t figure out how to spell.
Almost immediately, Moochie’s began winning both local and national awards for their fresh, handmade food and it wasn’t long before the sandwich shop took over the pottery shop completely. In 2009, Moochie’s was selected to be one of seven restaurants to be featured on the Food Network’s, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” program hosted by Guy Fieri. Of the seven Salt Lake restaurants, Moochie’s was the only one selected by Guy to be on the “BEST OF Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
With the success of Moochie’s, it wasn’t long before other sandwich shops started offering Philly cheesesteaks, but customers who are from the east coast or have been there and had the real thing will know the difference.
*As an aside, if you are from the east coast, you may be familiar with a place called “Tony Luke’s”, rated one of the TOP FIVE best Philly Cheesesteaks in Philadelphia—- that’s Moochie’s cousin!
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