Off-Campus Story on Taylor Gourmet in Bethesda

Taylor Gourmet: Bringing Philadelphia cuisine to Bethesda 

Casey Patten, co-owner of Taylor Gourmet, crafts one of his signature hoagies at the Bethesda location. Christyn Enser / Reporting Fall 2011

The red Phillies baseball cap gave him away.

Casey Taylor Patten, 31, co-owner of Taylor Gourmet Deli, was working alongside his employees during the busy lunch hour. He took some time to sit outside at the corner of Woodmont Ave. and Elm St. in Bethesda and share his story during a lull in the afternoon rush.

“I grew up working in restaurants all my life,” he said. “My business partner (David Mazza, 33) and I bought a building over on H Street in Northeast D.C. back in 2006. We decided that we needed a good old sandwich shop like we had in Philadelphia.”

Patten relocated to D.C. over a decade ago after growing up in Philadelphia and attending Pennsylvania State University. After seeing a need for a “hoagie” shop, a term coined in Philadelphia to describe a submarine sandwich, he and Mazza did market research on the area to open their own establishment.

Since opening their first shop on H Street, they have expanded their business across the D.C. metro area with three current locations and two more in the works.

Patten’s efforts to satisfy customers have impacted his decisions as a businessman.

Until recently, Taylor Gourmet did not offer mayonnaise or mustard as condiment options for its sandwiches. After customers requested them, though, Patten was flexible.

“We put the flavor combinations together…without overpowering them with mayonnaise or mustard. But customers asked and we wanted to give them what they wanted.”

This approach in Bethesda appears to be working, along with Patten’s simple economic philosophy involving fiscal responsibility and self-funding all projects.

“It’s been going phenomenal,” he said. “Just like our other outposts, this operates the same way.”