The original location of Gourmondo was a tiny space (470 sq ft) next to Madame Lazonga’s Tattoo parolor in the back of the Pike Place Market. Madame Lazonga was our best customer, and sometimes our only customer.
Total sales on Gourmondo’s opening day on August 2nd, 1996 was $36.00… which was not awesome.
Gourmondo’s first oven was a residential stove we’d purchased at a second-hand store for $200 (note … residential ovens tend to blow up after a few months when used for commercial purposes).
Gourmondo was founded with three partners, whom all flipped a coin daily to see who would do the dishes and who would take out the deliveries. Today Gourmondo is 100% owned by one of the founding partners, Alissa Leinonen, and employs over 100 amazing and talented people.
In the early days, all orders were delivered in either a 1967 Plymouth Belvedere or Uncle Bud’s old suburban (which had been parked in uncle Bud’s front yard for two years and was “gifted” to Gourmondo, under the condition that we could get it towed off his property).
Every little brownie cake included in all the boxed lunches is made fresh by one of Gourmondo’s founding partners, Jen Clancy, who left Gourmondo years ago to open her own little wholesale bakery.
For the past 20 years, Gourmondo sandwiches have been made with baguettes delivered fresh daily from the Le Panier “Very French” bakery located in the Pike Place Market.
All Gourmondo dressings, sauces, marinades, and stocks are made in house fresh daily, and all spice rubs are custom blended by World Spice Merchants in the Pike Place Market.
Gourmondo’s kitchen production schedule was designed 20 years ago so that the majority of the kitchen crew could be off in time to pick up their kids from school, this schedule is still in place today.
Production stops at 10:15 am every day for 30 minutes, so that the Gourmondo kitchen teams can have family lunch together.