We’ve all been there—that moment after a long night out that an appetite for some warm chopped breaded chicken topped with melted mozzarella and marinara sauce (or something of the like) creeps in and just won’t go away. Lucky for us, we all know that Fat Shack offers the perfect on-wheels solution to any craving at a collegiette-friendly price. It seems as though Fat Shack has been a major part in every collegiette’s TCNJ experience, but what if we told you that just two years ago, the business was merely a thought in one TCNJ alumnus’s mind?
Meet this week’s campus celeb, Tom Armenti, ’10. Tom is the founder of our beloved Fat Shack right here in Ewing. According to the Ramsey native, the inspiration for Fat Shack all began during his junior year of college.
“Myself and some hometown friends were trying to come up with ways to avoid getting summer jobs,” explains the Phi Psi alumnus, “So we decided to develop a late night food delivery business.”
Tom and his friends founded CAR’s Late Night Delivery in Ramsey, and after a year of success, he decided to open his own late-night food delivery business in the Ewing area after he graduated in February 2010.
“Our very first night in business we did well over 100 deliveries,” says Tom, but this success didn’t come easy; it was a result of Tom’s hard work, motivation and networking skills. Among the many challenges faced, he had to find a business that was willing to partner with him, scramble for employees, and set up food deliveries. Fortunately, the Fat Shack was well received in the TCNJ community and by opening day, he had nearly 1,500 people in his facebook group.
Two years later, Tom Armenti took another big step, moving to Colorado to open the Fat Shack near Colorado State University. Tom now has his own store for the Fat Shack, where he is open for lunch hours in addition to late-night deliveries. According to Tom, “The plan is to begin spreading the Fat Shack to other cities in Colorado where different Colleges and Universities are located. This will hopefully start as soon as next year.”
While he enjoys living in a big college city, he still has a special place in his heart for where it all began, “Things can get pretty crazy and fun in the town around here, but I still had a great time at TCNJ and met some awesome people on our campus so I wouldn't trade that away.”
So what has been Tom’s secret to success? Tom says that being a college student just a few years ago allows him to relate and cater to his college-age customers.
“I know what I wanted out of food delivery place and we try to give that to every customer,” says Tom, “Our staff is always working extremely hard to get people the best possible food as fast as possible.”
Another secret to Tom’s success could be the wide variety of delicious food that fills the Fat Shack menu. So we just have to know, what’s the owners favorite item?
“I've eaten everything on the menu so many times that I'll go through phases…but no matter which sandwich I am eating my favorite part about it is always the sauce.” Tom admits that right now, he’s on a major Honey-Jalapeno Mustard kick.
And what does Tom have to say to anyone with health concerns? Tom says that he, too, enjoys living a healthy lifestyle, but a fat sandwich a few times a week isn’t such a bad thing, “So ladies, put down the rice cake, enjoy some fat shack, and live a little!”