Many Scarsdale residents greeted the new sandwich shop at 13 Spencer Place with the same restrained outrage and subterranean expectations with which AC/DC fans heralded Celine Dion and Anastacia’s remake of “You Shook Me All Night Long.”
Sometimes, you just don’t mess with the classics.
Michael’s – a town fixture for three decades – was the go-to sandwich shop in town for countless families. So when the new high-end sandwich shop Good-Life Gourmet moved in last summer, residents were up in arms.
“I was friends with the previous owner, and I’m not going to lie, the transition wasn’t easy,” said Eric Korn, the 28-year-old owner of Good-Life Gourmet. “It took a while for residents to understand what we were all about. But we’ve listened to their feedback – some customers have made fantastic suggestions – and they seem to be happy with the results.”
Korn operates more than just one outpost in Scarsdale; he launched his company in 2008, after graduating from the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan. It started as a high-end boutique catering business, and he gained such a loyal following, he felt compelled to open a few brick and mortar establishments.
“I’m a big vision kind of guy,” Korn told Patch. “One of my best customers in catering expressed interest in investing in a larger venture with me, and we started exploring options. So far, I’ve opened the shops in Scarsdale and Irvington, plus a place that caters to kids in a private club in Soho. All of our physical stores are based on the business model I developed at the very beginning, which is a back-and-forth relationship with the community through my business.”
After chatting for a few minutes, it’s clear that Korn’s business acumen is keen. But his emotional intelligence is just as finely honed. Good-Life Gourmet isn’t just about food. One of the reasons Scarsdale has embraced the shop, and put it on a path to becoming a landmark in its own right, is that Korn clearly values real, rooted community relationships that are based on more than just an exchange of money and goods between customer and shopkeeper.
“We work with several local charities,” Korn said. “Our next event is with Autism Speaks. We’re catering their fundraiser at the high school and giving away gift certificates in the silent auction.”
Family is also high on Korn’s list of priorities. His brothers, Will, 20, and Matt, 22, are involved in Good-Life Gourmet. “I dragged them in! We each have a spot in the business. I run the overall business, but I rely on them heavily,” Korn explained. “Will operates the shop in Scarsdale and Matt runs the place in Soho. We have a fourth brother who lives in California and calls us almost every day to talk about food. Food and family – that’s Good-Life.”
That’s all very sweet.
Community charity work, a madcap group of young and handsome brothers breaking out and making it on their own in a tough economy, a sandwich / catering operation (with seats!) right near the train station, yada, yada, yada.
But let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: what’s the food like?
In a word: delicious. Much more than a slab of protein wedged between two hunks of bread, Good-Life Gourmet serves up hand-held culinary adventures, that are all the more delectable for their on-the-go-go-go status. The menu changes, but some of Korn’s favorites include the Espresso Braised Short Rib & Five-Cheese Grilled Cheese and the classic Brisket Sandwich, updated with caramelized onions and aged gouda.
If you want more than just a quick bite or a single meal to go, Good-Life Gourmet offers what they call Good-Life Gourmet Meals for families. Using fresh, seasonal food, the company’s roster of chefs prepares personalized meals for the whole family, which can be quickly reheated at home. Options include entrees like Pan Roasted Halibut with Mango Salsa, Citrus Wilted Spinach and Roasted Red Onion Israeli Cous Cous and Wild Mushroom Lasagna with Roasted Garlic and Carrot Sauce and Creamy Goat Cheese Bechamel.
Good-Life also offers personalized catering options; the menu changes frequently, but always features gourmet sandwiches, elevated pastries and desserts, freshly pressed juices and coffee and a cornucopia of heartier entrée options.
So what’s next for Korn and his brothers? “I’d love to make it onto Westchester’s Best Sandwich list. That’s what I’ve got my eye on right now,” said Korn.
For a taste of the Good-Life, Korn gave Patch a recipe for one of his customer's favorite salads.
The Scarsdale Salad:
Makes 2 side salads
- 2 Cups Frozen Edamame
- 1 Cup Frozen Corn
- 1 Can Black Beans
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 2 Tablespoons Honey
- 1/4 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar
- Boil 1 large pot of H20. Salt the water generously.
- Add edamame and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Add corn.
- Rinse, drain and add beans.
Add onion, honey and vinegar.
- Season with salt, mix and serve as side salad or on top of green salad.
Good-Life Gourmet is located at 13 Spencer Place in Scarsdale. Call them at (914) 723-3024, or check them out online at good-lifegourmet.com.