During her two-year reign as a sandwich maker at Koppa’s Fulbeli Deli, Emily Mowrer has made countless Deli Lamas, tons of Yetis, scores of Obi-Wan Bolognas, hundreds of Bread Favres and oodles of Baron Rodgers. These are just a few of the sandwiches on the Fulbeli Deli’s sandwich menu, all of which cost under $5 and are made to order.
Koppa’s owner, Ken Koppa, and his brother, Mike, invented the quirky names and tasty combinations. There are 30 sandwiches on the menu -- and a daily special -- that are divided into four categories: homestyle, hot off the grill, submarines and vegetarian. The Fulbeli Deli also serves a variety of salads and bakery.
Sandwich delivery is available Monday throghu Friday, with the exception of Wednesday, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. A $25 minimum order is required for East Side or Downtown delivery and there is a $3 delivery charge.
Koppa says, these days, the Fulbeli Deli is the core of his business.
"Years ago, we were a grocery store, but we’re evolving more and more into a deli," says Koppa.
This is why dedicated, artistic sandwich makers like Mowrer are crucial to Koppa’s success. Recently, OnMilwaukee.com ducked into the Fulbeli Deli for a sandwich and to chat with the friendly and talented Mowrer.
OnMilwaukee.com: What do you like about your job at the Fulbeli Deli?
Emily Mowrer: I love cooking and experimenting with food and seeing all kinds of people.
OMC: How many sandwiches do you make per shift?
EM: It depends, but somewhere between 25 and 30. Most of them are made during lunch, we get really busy at lunchtime.
OMC: What is your favorite sandwich on the menu?
EM: Probably The Saturn (hot, shaved turkey, sharp cheddar cheese, cucumber, tomato, red onion, alfalfa sprouts and mayo on a pita).
OMC: Is The Saturn your favorite to make or to eat?
EM: Both. I really like the hot sandwiches the best, and a lot of customers do, too. They are definitely more fun to make because they take a little more creativity.
OMC: Which sandwich do you like making the least?
EM: Oh, probably the Bread Favre. It has a lot of ingredients, it takes a lot of time, and we were all a little bitter about Brett.
OMC: Didn’t you change the name of the sandwich?
Ken Koppa: We called it the Benedict Favre for a while, but I think we're going to change it back now.
OMC: What’s the hardest part of working with food?
EM: Smelling like food after your shift. And sometimes nothing sounds or tastes good after hours of making food for other people.
OMC: Do you invent your own crazy sandwiches just for fun?
EM: Yeah, I like to whip up some sort of grilled pita with interesting cheese and meat combinations. But usually, when I’m at home, I’m not making sandwiches. I’m pretty sandwiched-out.
OMC: Have you ever gotten injured on the job by a knife or the meat slicer?
EM: I’ve had a few minor cuts from knives, but I haven’t had any serious injuries, luckily. There was someone who came close to losing a finger on the slicer once.
OMC: What other Milwaukee establishments make good sandwiches?
EM: Potbelly -- yeah, I know it’s a chain but they have good sandwiches -- and Fuel, the Riverwest Coop, Nessun Dorma. Nessun Dorma makes a really great sandwich.
OMC: Why are Fulbeli Deli’s sandwiches so popular?
EM: We only use fresh, all natural meats and really fresh vegetables. Basically, they’re big, good and cheap.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.