“It was a passion project, and we’re just really passionate about sandwiches,” says Rack co-founder Josh Veasey, who used to be in IT, but then with business partner Rhys Samrai bought a food truck about five years ago, specialising in the humble art of the sarnie.
Now, they’re juggling three sites – the original in Stockport, another recently opened in the middle of Sale and now a brand new third site in the Arndale food market, in the spot made famous for its serpentine queues back when it was occupied by new generation Chinese takeaway Salt & Pepper.
“We just thought that there was no one really bridging that gap between fancy brunch spots and a butty shop. We want to be somewhere in between,” Josh adds. With a nod to the old school sandwich shops that have slowly started to disappear, they became a bit of a cult hit during lockdown.
So for every old fashioned chicken sandwich, which features proper roast chicken on an old fashioned bloomer, there’s something to push the envelope a bit, like their bhaji sandwich, made using a secret family recipe from Rhys and served up with lime pickle, mango chutney and a fistful of bombay mix.
Bread-wise, their sourdough comes from the local artisans the Bread Factory, and their soft, pillow-ey bloomers from Thatcher’s in Stockport, who have been knocking out loaves since 1891.
In an exclusive for the new Arndale site, there’ll be bringing in the new ‘cacio e pepe’ – their three cheese toastie, adapted with some added inspiration from the classic Italian pasta dish. So there’s pecorino thrown in there, heaps of black pepper and even some deep fried spaghetti for added crunch.
As with the other sites, there will be specials every month – like the much-loved Mexican ‘beef birria’, slowly stewed brisket served up with a spicy dipping broth, and hopefully a return of the ‘lasandwich’, the lasagne-based sandwich which took social media by storm.
Rack is open in the Arndale Market, seven-days-a-week, from today. Follow Rack on Instagram.