Pastrami and Salami and Pepperoni, oh my! Making sandwiches with Billy Martin owner of Sweet Meats Sandwich bar.
Sweet Meats Sandwich Bar is serving up mouth-watering sandwiches like, Italian Melts with Genoa and Gypsy Salami, Prosciutto, Capocollo, Asiago Cheese, Garlic Aoli, Lettuce, Tomato & Onion, on a garlic toasted Kaiser Bun. If that doesn't make your mouth water I don't know what will.
MM: Are you originally from Fort McMurray?
Billy: No, I moved here from San Francisco but I'm from the Okanagan; I moved here in 2001 just after 9/11.
MM: What makes you stay in Fort McMurray?
Billy: At first the money. My first week here I said to myself ' I'll just get one check then I'm going back to Kelowna'. Everyone is in the same boat here; most of us have moved from somewhere else. It makes it really easy to reach out and make friends, so after a couple of years, Fort McMurray just becomes home.
MM: What are some of your favourite things about living in Fort McMurray?
Billy: The people! The giving nature of the community.
MM: You're involved with a lot of charity events around town can you tell me how you got involved?
Billy: I lost my dad in January 2014; his birthday was May 7th and I just wanted to do better for him.
I heard about a little girl; Chloe Kroeger from my home town in Penticton. We had never met but she was a four-year-old girl with terminal cancer.
I had come across the story and I just felt I needed to raise this family money.
I put together a concert at Paddy McSwiggins and we raised the family close to thirty grand. We decided to call it ' Chloes miracle trip to Newfoundland ' and we sent her to meet her family in Newfoundland. She ended up taking a turn for the worse; she couldn't fly home and she ended up passing away in Newfoundland. It was the saddest thing I've ever had to deal with.
In 2017, I was tagged in a post about a sick little girl; Lilly Morgan here in Fort McMurray. We put on a little event at the Newfoundland Club it was pretty short notice I only had a couple of weeks to plan it. We ended up raising five thousand dollars; it helped but it didn't make a huge impact. I felt like I wanted to do more; I knew what I was able to do for Chloe and knew I could do more for them.
I had this great idea to renovate their house while they were away on the make a wish trip.
We were able to pull off Extreme Makeover - Fort McMurray edition. I planned it, but it was Fort McMurray that made it happen. We had 118 companies and many individuals donate. Since we finished the renovations Lilly hasn't had to have any emergency trips to the hospital.
Through that, I met Gareth Norris who owns Paddy McSwiggins, almost the same scenario a couple of beer in I called him and said I bet you I can help.
MM: How did you decide to open Sweet Meats?
Billy: There's a deli called Il Vecchio's in Penticton; there's always been a running joke that I should open a Bill Vecchio's. There's always that one food place when you go home where you go first. That's what Il Vecchio's was to me.
I call it a mid-midlife crisis I just woke up one morning and sold everything I owned and decided to take the plunge.
Sweet Meats announced this morning that they are opening a second location in Gregoire at Summit GM, making it even easier for those folks south of the bridge to get their hands on some delicious sandwiches!
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