1950 – The Stromboli Sandwich

1950 - The Stromboli Sandwich Is Born

In the winter of 1949, Nat started to experiment with a new sandwich, filling his secret recipe dough with a variety of Italian meats, bell peppers and cheeses that he rolled into a log and baked. He began to produce and sell the as-yet-unnamed sandwiches in early 1950.

During this time, a local resident and regular customer, William Schoefield, asked Nat what he called this new sandwich. Nat admitted that he didn’t have a name for it and invited Mr. Schoefield to suggest one. This was 1950 and the press was full of the scandal involving Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rosselini who had become romantically involved during the filming of the movie Stromboli. Moral outrage ensued when Bergman left her husband and daughter for Rosselini and bore a son out of wedlock. Influenced by the international scandal and publicity, Mr. Schoefield suggested, “Why don’t you call it …Stromboli?” and the name stuck!

1954 - Romano's Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant Opens In Essington

Nat operated the store in its original location until 1954 when he opened shop in his second building, on the corner of 3rd and Wanamaker Avenue, two blocks from the original store. It was here that the business was dubbed Romano’s and operated as a pizzeria and Italian restaurant.