Kettering sandwich shop may reopen to the public next year

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

W.g. Grinders has seen its school lunch and catering business skyrocket, forcing it to shut down its carryout service.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

W.g. Grinders had ceased its carryout business to focus on school lunches and catering

For a sandwich shop storefront that never flips its "closed" sign over to "open," there sure is a lot of activity inside the W.g. Grinders storefront at Stroop Road and Far Hills Avenue in Kettering.

Turns out there’s a very good reason for that.

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The store at 10 W. Stroop Road in the Castle Hills shopping center across from Town &  Country shopping center has become a food-prep commissary of sorts for W.g. Grinders school-lunch and catering business — a part of the business that has grown so fast that the owners of W.g. Grinders decided to shut down the retail/carryout portion of the business earlier this year, according to Randy Duff, director of operations and human resources for the restaurant-and-catering company.

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“We found a niche, and that part of our business has just exploded,” Duff said. “We’re running about 700 meals a day out of here, in seven vehicles ... . The increased volume eventually prompted us to shut down the walk-in business, because we were just not able to provide the level of customer service that we knew our customers had come to expect from us.”

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W.g. Grinders provides school lunches for several Dayton-area Catholic, charter and Christian schools, and also handles stadium concessions for a handful of local high schools, including Chaminade-Julienne and Stebbins.

The Kettering sandwich shop was the only retail presence in the Dayton area for W.g. Grinders, which continues to operate a handful of other deli-style restaurants, mostly in the Columbus area.

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And there is a possibility the retail carry-out portion of the business could return next year, Duff said. Some of the schools that have a lunch contract with Grinders are building kitchen facilities that could free up space at the Stroop Road location.

“We are holding the option open to reopen to walk-in business from the public,” Duff said. “It’s a possibility in early 2020. We will have a clearer picture by about April on whether we will reopen to walk-in business.”

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A W.g. Grinders operated as a sandwich shop in the Town & Country Shopping Center for 13 years before moving across the street to a smaller location with less seating capacity in the Castle Hills Shopping Center.

Today, the success of the catering side of the business has allowed W.g. Grinders to expand its catering menu well beyond its traditional sandwich selections to include Mediterranean dishes, pasta, and Mexican dishes, Duff said.

For more information about W.g. Grinders’ catering services, call (937) 294-3663.