Hot Off the Press

A Berkley woman discovers a good news story after opening The Panini Press, whose list of creative sandwiches are named after newspapers


Published:

After staying home with a son and two daughters, Linda Skoczek was ready for a new direction. She had worked part time during those years for Peter’s Palate Pleaser, and she also did a little catering herself from her Berkley home. But she had never jumped in with both feet. With the kids brought up, she decided to go ahead with her long-held dream of opening her own little restaurant.

But what, exactly?

Nothing fancy, of course. She had always appreciated a good sandwich, and thought an alternative to the sub-shop variety would work. Then inspiration struck. “It just seemed to come to me,” she says. “From the name to the concept, it all seemed to flow. It took about two hours.”

The idea was to offer panini, the grilled sandwiches that originated in Italy. She started searching for a location, driving all over town — only to end up back in Berkley, two minutes from her house, when she spotted an empty storefront in the little strip mall across from Shrine Catholic Grade School, which her children had attended.

To underscore the personal, non-commercial touch she wanted, she had the interior painted in soft Tuscan colors, and decorated the walls with evocative photographs from Italy.

With that, The Panini Press was born, opening in July of this year. She named the sandwiches for newspapers (press, get it?), being careful not to violate any copyrights. Her son, Tim, who works in the Obama administration as a press aide, did the research for her, while she came up with the sandwich varieties to reflect the names.

For instance, the sandwich called the Tucson Tribune includes grilled breast of chicken, grilled onions, and bell peppers, Monterey Jack cheese, and her own spicy southwest mayo. Another, the Key West Courier, delivers albacore white tuna, sweet onion, and celery, topped with cheddar cheese.

The Traverse City Times has Black Forest ham, brie, Granny Smith apple, and sweet mustard sauce. Sauces are all house-made, and ingredients are local whenever possible.

There are just nine sandwich varieties, along with a childrens’ menu that includes peanut butter-and-jelly and grilled hot dogs. Panini (the plural of panino) may be ordered on a variety of breads: ciabatta, Italian, or multi-grain, and white or whole wheat roll-ups. There’s a gluten-free option, too.
Skoczek is hoping that The Panini Press is just the first of a small, homegrown chain. “Maybe two more,” she says.

The Panini Press, 28983 Woodward at 12 Mile Road, Berkley; 248-547-7377. Open daily, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Archive »Related Content

Staying Power

Joe Vicari’s Andiamo Italia restaurant group celebrates its 25th anniversary

Takashi, Take Two

Slurping Turtle offers hip takes on traditional Japanese dishes.

It's About Family

Downtown Plymouth’s Nico & Vali is a slice of Italiana — with some twists

Taking Root

Growth is slow but steady for family-owned, Michigan-centric The Granola Tree

Fresh Fare

Treetops Resort's Farm2Fork events tap the bounty of local producers.

Most Popular

  1. 2014 Best Dressed List
    They come from all walks of life — from automotive, hospitality, and health to politics and...
  2. Staying Power
    Joe Vicari’s Andiamo Italia restaurant group celebrates its 25th anniversary
  3. Hour Detroit's Best Dressed Celebration 2014 Video Invitation
  4. All That Jazz
    A full-swing resurgence is drawing on Detroit’s rich music culture
  5. Rockford Brewing Company Brewery Profile
    Embracing the outdoors and the creative spirit, Rockford Brewing Company works to promote a...
  6. Takashi, Take Two
    Slurping Turtle offers hip takes on traditional Japanese dishes.
  7. Ludington Area Beer Scene
    Ludington, Michigan represents the Michigan Craft Beer Scene
  8. Portrait of a Collector
    Robert Hudson Tannahill’s bequest left the DIA a priceless visual legacy
  9. It's About Family
    Downtown Plymouth’s Nico & Vali is a slice of Italiana — with some twists
  10. Taking Root
    Growth is slow but steady for family-owned, Michigan-centric The Granola Tree