At first glance, an Inn-Between sandwich is quite simple. There’s a thick layer of mayonnaise, a pickle cut longways, meat, cheese and bread.
Husband and wife owners Wesley and Suzanne Gailey arrive at 6 every morning at their shop on Green Street.
Together, they form a two-person assembly line, constructing ham, turkey and roast beef sandwiches on rolls, whole wheat and rye. Most days they sell out, and they always go home by 2 p.m.
Through decades of running it, the formula hasn’t changed one bit for the Gaileys. They keep it simple, because if it’s one thing they’ve learned it’s this: simplicity works.
At the end of July, the Gaileys are selling their business to another local restaurateur. They urge current customers not to fret.
“Nothing’s going to change,” Wesley said. “The new owner (Anderson Dunlap) is going to keep everything exactly the same.”
He and Suzanne will spend the next few weeks showing Dunlap and his employees all the knowhow four decades of experience will bring a business owner.
Wesley has been running it going on 43 years now, and Suzanne has been there for 32. In that time, the tiny delicatessen has developed a following.
“It’s a destination. It’s a craving, and it always has been,” said Ed Waller, who owns Green’s Grocery next door. “You can go weeks and not even think about it, then all of a sudden you want an Inn- Between Sandwich.
He should know. Waller has been eating Inn-Between sandwiches since he was a kid.
“They used to do a much more extended offering. They used to have Po Boys, and those were my favorite,” Waller said. Now that those are no more, Waller’s favorite is roast beef on a roll.
Above all else, Waller says the secret to Inn-Between’s success is that “they’ve always been spot on.”
Sheila West of Cleveland couldn’t agree more. She’s been a customer of Inn-Between going on 40 years now.
That’s four decades eating of “one of the most unique sandwiches you ever had.”
“They make a certain number of them every day,” West said. “When they sell out, that’s it. You missed your chance for an Inn-Between sandwich that day.”
Her favorite choice used to be the Hobo Sandwich, an offering no longer available there.
“But pretty much anything you get is good,” West said.
Suzanne can recall from memory many of her longtime customers’ favorite sandwich choices. Upon greeting them as they enter the store, she’ll say “ham on a roll or a wheat roll today?” or “the usual?”
“She knows everybody in town,” Wesley said. “That’s one of the things we’ve always loved about this place...the people. We get to see different people all day long. Talking to people is fun.”
When they hand over the keys to Dunlap at the end of July, he and Suzanne have full confidence that he’ll keep the place running smoothly.
“(Dunlap) has been a customer since birth,” Wesley said. “So, he knows all about us.”
Wesley speculates that the reason they’ve stayed in business so long is “consistency.”
“Also, people like that they can walk right in, and it’s a prepared sandwich that’s ready to go,” he said. “People are so busy these days, and they appreciate the simplicity of that.”