3rd generation set for place behind counter Family sub shop marks 30th year GLEN BURNIE

June 09, 1993|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writer

The lineup of old and recent photos rests above the condiments and diagonally behind where "Mom" usually sits -- eight children, 21 grandchildren, even one great-grandchild.

Joy's Sub Shop in Glen Burnie Park marked the start of its 30th year Sunday, with no fanfare, just a banner hanging out front.

This is where the children of Sarah and Alfred Sadaka grew up, where the neighborhood and the shop regulars watched them go from diapers to running the place. Every child either worked there in years past or works there now. The shop is named for Child No. 2, because Joy seemed like a friendly name, Mrs. Sadaka said. Joy Maxwell, now 42, lives in North Carolina.

"Our home was like our second home. This was the first," said Alfred Sadaka Jr., 31, child No. 7, who comes in after his pool business jobs are done.

"I remember doing our homework in the corner here," said Vida Ziegler, child No. 6, now 33, who works there most mornings. Her younger sister, Carla Gernert, Child No. 8, 30, works in the afternoons.

Thirty years ago, the Sadakas bought what was then a small sub shop because they wanted their own food service business and Mrs. Sadaka didn't want a bar-restaurant. When they took over the shop on June 6, 1963, they knew nothing about making subs or pizzas. They picked up the finer points from their employee and ate a few of their mistakes.

Eight years later, the couple bought the building so that the rent wouldn't go up, Mrs. Sadaka said. They expanded the customer area to include the long counter where people linger.

Raymond Sadaka, child No. 4, was 10 when his parents opened for business. Now, he is the manager of the sub shop where everybody knows your name. He makes breakfast sandwiches, downs coffee and leans over the counter in conversation, agreeing that the real estate market is tough, sympathizing with the man who doesn't really want to head off to work. Every morning the counter is lined with regulars.

"I was here when his father opened up," said Louis Hackley, 75, who lives nearby. "I watched him get into everybody's way . . . until he learned to make a hamburger."

Raymond Sadaka opens the shop at 4 a.m. Sometimes, trucker Robert Boardley, 37, of Pasadena calls him at 3 a.m. to make sure the coffee will be ready when he arrives around opening time.

"Ray's like a bartender. If you have a bad day the day before, he pretends he listens to you," Mr. Boardley said.

Mr. Hackley used to come in at 4:30 a.m. for coffee and conversation before heading to his job as burglar and fire alarm salesman. Retired, he still comes in daily -- but at 6:30 while his wife sleeps -- for a few cups of black coffee and chitchat.

Behind the counter are the children he used to give silver dollars to on their birthdays.

He remembers them playing behind the counter, much the way Mrs. Gernert's 2-year-old daughter Janine does these days.

Topics of discussion range from high school sports to world politics. Quite a few business deals have been cut here among tradesmen; fishing trips have been arranged in midweek and big fish stories told after the weekend.

Larry Mathers, 50, who lives in the Dundee area, attributed 50 of his car and truck sales to taking his morning coffee at Joy's counter over the last 12 years. And he's hired several of the men he's talked sports with there to make repairs at his house.

Mrs. Sadaka -- "Mom" to the regulars -- comes in at noon. At 69, she rarely cooks, but instead revels in the family atmosphere. Her husband, whose faded photo is on the cash register, died in 1982.

Over the years, she said, the shop has had maybe two employees who weren't Sadakas. It never occurred to her to have anyone but her children work by her side.

Now, a new generation of Sadakas -- her older grandchildren -- are approaching the age where they can take their place next to "Mom."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.