MARLBOROUGH – As a relatively new business owner, Jenny Geary is working overtime – often on her own – to make her breakfast and lunch spot a success.
“Sometimes, I dream about sandwiches and wake up in the middle of the night to remember if I ordered bread,” said Geary, who opened Jenny’s Place in October 2020. “I figure that’s what comes with the territory of being a business owner.”
Geary took over ownership of the quaint space on Church Street in Marlborough after Jon Kuras decided to close his Church Street Sandwich Company.
“He helped me out quite a bit to guide me in the right direction,” Geary said of Kuras in a recent interview.
She added thanks for her landlord, who has been supportive as she has got Jenny’s Place up and running.
In the meantime, Geary has retained some of the more popular Church Street Sandwich menu items, such as the Vision of Katherine sandwich, which consists of bacon, turkey, Havarti cheese, mayonnaise, honey mustard, red onions and pickles on a fresh Portuguese roll.
“I don’t have any idea who Katherine was, but I thank her because I’ve made so many of those sandwiches,” Geary said.
A native of Hudson, Geary has been involved with food virtually all her life. Before opening Jenny’s Place, she was running a pizza kitchen in Hudson, bartending and doing catering work. She grew up with parents who owned a pub. Her brother is a chef.
“We never went to culinary school, but we all loved to eat and have family dinners, so we cook,” she said.
Aside from the Vision of Katherine sandwich, some of the other popular items on the menu at Jenny’s Place include the Steak Bomb and Italian sandwiches as well as delicacies that Geary likes to re-create and put her spin on.
Among signature sandwiches, Jenny’s Place offers the Hot Mess Express consisting of fried eggs, onions, peppers, hots, ham, cheese and cream cheese on a grilled everything bagel.
“I think my shop stands out because everything is made from scratch and with love,” Geary said. “I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this every day.”
Times have been tough during the pandemic, but Geary has leaned on family to pull through.
“It’s been a challenge due to the market and trying to find certain supplies at a decent price,” she said. “It’s hard to maintain overhead and not waste money, energy or supplies. But, for the most part, things have been working out.”
Things worked out especially well after the popular Phantom Gourmet television show paid a visit to her shop.
“It was a good way to get the word out about Jenny’s Place,” Geary said. “I was sort of nervous and anxious about the experience. [But] they came in and sampled a meatball sub and a steak bomb sandwich and enjoyed it. We nailed it.”
For now, Geary is satisfied with supplying food for the constant flow of foot traffic that traverses along Church Street. In the future, though, she’s contemplating dinner service and perhaps a food truck.
“It’s a great neighborhood and I believe people are happy to see our doors open,” she said. “They show up and they come back.”
Jenny’s Place is located at 162 Church Street in Marlborough.
Follow the shop on Facebook at JennysPlace162.
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