Meatball Obsession!

Who doesn’t love meatballs?  What a great concept – I’m seeing one on every corner in the near future.  Below is the scoop on the company.

At Daniel Mancini’s walk-up window in Manhattan, the meatball bypasses its traditional role as pasta accessory and takes a shot at full-fledged stardom.

Since opening Meatball Obsession last April, Mancini’s 225-square-foot shop has dazzled thousands with artisan-made meatballs served in a cup (yes, a cup).

Based on the original family recipe from Mancini’s grandma Anna, the 2.5-ounce meatballs are beef, pork, or turkey and are served with 3 ounces of homemade Italian plum tomato sauce. Meatballs can then be topped with crispy pasta, Italian herbs, Mozzarella cheese pearls, or grated Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Mancini, who also runs the Mama Mancini’s retail line of Italian-inspired favorites, discusses the story behind his shop, an outlet The Wall Street Journal labeled a “Meatball Empire.”

What inspired the creation of Meatball Obsession?

I grew up in Brooklyn with my Italian-born grandmother, and she’d always serve me meatballs in a coffee cup. As a teen, I learned her recipes and always had in the back of my mind that a restaurant using her recipes would be a cool idea.

As I talked with friends and colleagues about opening this meatballs-in-a-cup restaurant, one asked me if I had lost my mind. For me, though, the meatball is the forgotten comfort food. I knew it would work.

Why did you decide on a walk-up window rather than a dining room?

I wanted our flagship store to be in New York City. As we started hunting for space in Manhattan, we knew we wanted a small space to prove the concept … and [our architect] Richard Lewis suggested it would work as a walk-up window. We went to some existing walk-up food windows in the city and determined that format was not only cost effective, but complemented our menu since the meatballs are served in a portable way.

What challenges have you faced?

The biggest challenge is changing the habits of consumers, who are used to eating meatballs in a sandwich or next to pasta. I believed that if we could get people to understand the cup, then we’d have a winning business. Fortunately, people have loved enjoying these homemade meatballs in such a simplified way.

What’s next?

There’s been an overwhelming amount of interest about franchising or expanding the concept. I don’t know necessarily how we’ll do it, but do know we want a group of company-owned stores. The idea would be to get a few going, work out the kinks, and assess how this plays in different markets. Our long-term vision is to be in airports, malls, and other nontraditional venues.

Back

What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • David Hotovy was amazing in every way possible. 

    First off, I would like to say Thank you for all the support and help landing a spot for me.  We kept in contact everyday whether we were talking about family or work.  Even after the prospected new job kept us hanging, after we thought we landed it, he was there to make sure my mind was still right.  I actually want to work with him and the company now lol.  He stayed focused on finding me a spot and telling me that I have everything companies need.  To his Boss as well, to going to bat for me. I feel I made a new friend.  I don't know if there is anymore that I can say, I would love to do more for the company so your whole team is recognized.  I deal with businesses and customers a lot and this was by far the best customer experience I've ever had!  I thought I was the best!! If there is anything I can do for David and your company let me know.
    Cheers,
    Steven King
    David Hotovy was amazing in every way possible
  • Colleen Casey went above and beyond. 

    Colleen Casey of Patrice & Associates helped me obtain a Payroll position.  She helped build my confidence and mentored me through the interview process.  In my past career searches I have worked with other career agencies and never experienced the service I received working with Colleen.  She became my mentor with building up my confidence and how to go about interviewing for the company I have accepted my current position.  I would recommend the company, but would definitely tell anyone to contact Colleen if they are looking for a new position in the future.

    Thank you,

    Dorinda Sperry

    Colleen Casey went above and beyond
  • Corina Mack was wonderful to work with. 

    She was easy to speak with during the interview process and gave helpful tips. She was diligent with her follow-ups and very responsive to my calls/emails.  I would absolutely work with Corina again!
    Thank you!
    Amanda
    Corina Mack was wonderful to work with
  • Darryl is my Coach Angel. I'm very thankful to have been reached out to for this job.  At the same time I received the call I was just listening to something and then I received the call from Darryl and things were answered.  I'm even receiving more money than my last management job ( WOW ).  Thanks again, you all changed the game for me.           Sincerely, RASHEDA KEITH Darryl is my Coach Angel
  • Corina Mack was amazing!  

    She communicated well throughout the interview process and understood my goals and expectations of the job position.  She did a great job of connecting me to what the company was looking for in the VP of Operations position.  This gave me ability to be well prepared for my interviews.   Not only would I recommend Corina, but planning on using her in my new role to continue to staff accordingly.
    Thank you,
    Pete Hodges
    Corina Mack was amazing!