Helping out Mom & Pop ~

Mom and Pop shops are a dime a dozen; they are in abundance and more and more are on their way. Why work for someone when you can open up your own shop and work for yourself? The question is what makes a one off restaurant or cafe successful? How does it differ from the rest? How does it create longevity?
“Nu Nu’s” is a small sandwich shop at the corner of Granville and Broadway. It’s located right in front of the B-line stop heading towards UBC. It opens early enough to give transit-ers a chance to grab something to eat at 7am. It is a good healthy option amongst all the “Tim Horton’s” and 24 hours “McDonalds” out there.
The store is tiny with only 3 bar seats available. The lights are dim and the place feels cramped. There is a lot going on everywhere. Lucky bamboo and other over grown plants dangle from the top shelves, out dated office equipment sits dusty in the back, and kitchen odds and ends are scattered where ever space allows. Definitely not a place you would want to sit and enjoy your food. Two refrigerated showcase take up majority of the open space. One is lined with ice, and holds containers of cold sides and salads to accompany your sandwich. If you want something warmer there are two soups of the day to choose from. And for dessert brownies and Rice Krispie bars are wrapped in plastic and ready to go. The other showcase holds things you can grab in a hurry. Especially useful if you are coming in and trying not to miss your bus.

There isn’t really anything special about “Nu Nu’s”. They make sandwiches on regular loaves of bread with regular ingredients, nothing you couldn’t do for yourself. At $7-8 it double the price of a regular foot long at “Subway”, which is only a few shops down. 
Then why do I eat here every time I need lunch? It is healthy. It is so hard to find wholesome food options under $10. “Nu Nu’s” makes everything fresh daily from scratch. They do this out of their kitchen right in plain view of the serving counter. I am partial to their “Veggie Delight” sandwich for $7.25. I am not going to lie this is the only sandwich I ever order, and I have ordered over 30 of them in the last year. You get your choice of wholesome breads like rye, whole wheat, multigrain, flax, etc. I usually get marble that is pictured above. It is a lovely pattern. How your food looks is just as important as how it tastes when it come to truly enjoying your meal. I get the works on my vegetarian sandwich: mayo, mustard, lettuce, shredded carrots, avacado slices, alfalfa sprouts, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and cucumbers. It is simple, it tastes good, and you feel good knowing it is good for you. They offer a board of options to fill in between any slices of bread, you can customize your own or go for classics like peanut butter and bananas, ham and cheese, or an egg salad sandwich. These are the sandwiches that you do not have time to make for yourself. The kind of sandwiches your mom use to make for you in your brown bag lunch that you miss so much.

The best part of “Nu Nu’s” is the staff. Nu Nu runs it with another older woman. With both ladies you can tell they love what they do, they start early and end late. When you love your job you can’t help but show it. They really make you feel welcome with conversation. They remember your orders and when the last time you came by. And sometimes they even treat you to a little extra to make your day. This is the type of service and atmosphere you cannot get from a large chain. And this is why we visit mom and pop shops. It is great people that make these kinds of places, not the decor or the food. The people are so warm and friendly that you want to go back to support them. Who doesn’t want to go somewhere where everyone knows their name.

Would I go back? – Yes. It’s a tasty and healthy option along a street full of fast food and MSG rich Chinese restaurants.
Would I recommend it? – No. This is not the kind of place you would go out to eat wih a friend. It is something quick and easy for lunch, that beats eating chips and pop out of a vending machine.

1505 West Broadway, Vancouver BC, V6J 1W6

Nu Nu's Sandwich Bar on Urbanspoon Instagram