In 1902 Theodore Roosevelt was in the White House, the Model T Ford was still six years in the future and on the Portland, Maine waterfront a young Italian immigrant named Giovanni Amato began selling fresh baked rolls filled with meat, cheese and fresh vegetables to his fellow countrymen working the docks.
In 1902, the Real Italian Sandwich was born. And from a small cart down on the docks came the beginnings of the Amato’s tradition.
Building on the success of the Real Italian, Giovanni and his wife opened the very first Amato’s Sandwich Shop on India Street in Portland. For more than 50 years they served fresh and delicious Italian foods to the surrounding community. Together, they created a legacy of quality and service that continues to this day.
In 1972, another Italian immigrant named Dominic Reali bought the business. Having worked at the original India Street shop for seven years, Dominic was well-versed in the Amato’s tradition. Dominic’s contributions to the “Real Italian” - Greek olives, a zestier pickle and his own specially blended oil - made it what it is today and introduced a great tasting sandwich to a whole new generation.
Today, with 12 company stores and a successful and growing franchise operation, Amato’s is still going strong. In addition to our sandwich shops, we also operate the oldest bakery in Maine. The same rolls that Giovanni Amato originally sold on the docks of Portland in 1902 are still produced by the Amato’s Bakery today - proudly operated by Giovanni’s great grandsons.
Amato’s. It’s Real Italian.