College alumnus stakes claim in the new Fat Shack

By Jamie Primeau
Correspondent

Tom Armenti, owner of the Fat Shack, works with alumnus Brian Mont to prepare a Fat sandwich for a hungry customer. (Tim Lee / Photo Editor)

After graduating last spring, alumnus Tom Armenti realized that, unlike other schools, there was nowhere for College students to find food past 1:30 a.m.

Armenti acknowledged that an ideal business opportunity existed near campus and decided to bring the College its own grease-filled, late-night luxury — the Fat Shack.

“A bunch of huge companies come to big schools like Penn State University, Rutgers with Grease Trucks,” he said. “No one pays attention to small schools like (the College), Ramapo College, Rider University. But everyone here still likes to go out at night and party too.”

Nestled inside RJ’s Bagel Shop on Parkway Avenue, the Fat Shack delivers sandwiches from 6 p.m. until 4 a.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays to students at the College and its neighbor Rider University.

To weaker stomachs the Fat Shack’s french fry filled phenomena are too much, but the College’s hungry students have been devouring the delectable deliveries.

“I think they’re an awesome late night snack,” Ben Swan, junior management major, said.

The Fat Shack began its endeavor by creating a page on Facebook, and within a few days the online group acquired more than 1,000 members.

Although it has only been open since Feb. 2, Armenti said, “Business started off really crazy. I was trying to open slowly so I could train people who hadn’t worked for me before, but I guess I underestimated Facebook. We had about 100 orders the first night. It was wild.”

Armenti decided to open the Fat Shack at the College after successfully opening a similar store in Ramsey, N.J., two summers ago.

With the help of a few friends, he had opened CARS, another eatery, near Ramapo College, and said, “We were pretty much just trying to think of ways to not have to get jobs when we graduated, so we decided to open our own business. When deciding to open another store at the College, I mostly just thought of all the things I’ve eaten in the past four years.”

Fat Sandwiches have become a nighttime necessity to many students at the College.

An employee prepares the Fat Hangover, one of the many sandwiches available at the Fat Shack. (Tim Lee/Photo Editor)

“I’ve had the chicken fingers and I know my friends have had sandwiches,” Jason Goldman, freshman open options culture and society major, said. “I think it’s a great idea. The food is good and it’s affordable and they deliver to you until whenever. I just wish it was open all seven days.”

But, what exactly is a Fat Sandwich? When asked how he would define one, Armenti laughed, and at first said he did not know how to answer that question.

“It’s just everything. All the foods everyone likes on one large piece of bread,” Armenti said. “Oh, and the sauce really makes the sandwich. We have lots of great sauces. We put a lot on because it holds together the sandwich.”

Sandwiches on the menu include the Fat Roscoe, a cheesesteak with chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, french fries and honey mustard. Another breakest-themed sandwich is the Fat Hangover, a sandwich with scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, french fries, onion rings and ketchup.

The sauces that make the sandwiches include a golden barbeque sauce and honey mustard, the two most important, according to the Shack’s owner.

Sophomore urban education and women and gender studies double major Kelsey Martin echoed Armenti’s statement.

“When I had Fat Shack, I thought it was really good because it combined the most delicious things into one sandwich,” she said.

After attaining recent popularity, Armenti hopes that his new business will eventually become an integral part of the College’s culture.

“Hopefully this is the first of many Fat Shacks at tons of colleges all over. I’m hoping it becomes such a part of (the College) that on the weekend you hear people on campus say, ‘Oh, I went out last night and got Fat Shack.’ And people will come to the College and already know about the Fat Shack.”