Spotlight on Sliced & Diced Eatery: Tortas, Melts & More

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Slide and Diced Eater ribbon cutting

Sliced & Diced Eatery is welcomed to the neighborhood with a ribbon cutting.

EverythingLongBeach recently spoke with Griselda Suarez and Amy Eriksen, Owners of Sliced & Diced Eatery: Tortas, Melts & More, via email. They talked about inspirations, challenges and what’s it’s like having a business in Zaferia.

How long have you been in business?

As Peppered Up Foods, we have been in business for over two years. We provided food and hand-packed artisan sauces in farmers markets, festivals, and special events. This month we opened our own restaurant, Sliced & Diced Eatery.

Describe your business:

Sliced & Diced Eatery will bring a twist to Mexican tortas and American melts with fresh vegetable sides. Peppered Up Foods’ customers will be able to find their favorite salads, roasted potatoes and yams at the new location. With a menu that includes customer created entrées, there will be vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, in addition to the standard fare. Every torta and sandwich will highlight the Peppered Up Foods line of products: The Best Ketchup Ever, Dad’s Favorite BBQ Sauce, Mole Monarca, Mole Primavera, Pepita Lime Chile and Walnut Chile.

Why did you start Sliced & Diced Eatery: Tortas, Melts & More?

We started the business because we wanted to share our passion for good food. We catered family affairs and had been encouraged by friends to sell our food. We love cooking. Amy has over twenty years of restaurant experience and is proud to open a place in her hometown. Griselda learned by being in the kitchen from an early age and watching her mother and grandmothers.

Our company is a reflection of our culinary lineage. We started with two Mexican chile sauces because there is nothing like them in the market. We added a roaster on wheels because we didn’t want to be the ”two girls with two sauces” booth. With our farmers market customers we created a well-rounded menu of healthy and fresh options.

What makes Sliced & Diced Eatery: Tortas, Melts & More stand out?

We make almost everything. Because of our Peppered Up Foods products, all our sandwiches feature an in-house sauce. We know what’s inside of your food because we make it. We make everything fresh and cook to order. Our bread and greens are local. We bring two things together to make the ultimate experience: Mexican and American comfort foods made fresh.

What is the biggest success Sliced & Diced Eatery: Tortas, Melts & More has had?

The last 2 years we have rented commercial kitchens, so our biggest success is being in our kitchen. We now can bring the freshest products to our customers. We have had the pleasure to be part of Willmore Wine Bar in Bixby Knolls and helped create their cheese plates and First Fridays offerings. We are proud of serving delicious, made to order food for thousands at Queen Mary festivals.

What is your favorite part of running your business?

Feeding people good food. Our customers keep us cooking. Every sandwich and torta is prepared with a great attention to detail. Every decision we make is about delighting our customers’ taste buds. For example, we have a salad special every week and we think about ”what’s in season, how can we make it different from last week, what can we put in there that will surprise them?” When a customer returns and says how much the enjoyed their meal and how ”fresh” it was, then we are doing it right.

What are the biggest challenges you face?

We are a two-person operation and there are many things to get done in a restaurant and artisan foods company. We divide the tasks, but there is so much social media to keep up on that it is sometimes difficult. We are working on getting ourselves out there.

What unique talents do you bring to Sliced & Diced Eatery: Tortas, Melts & More?

We have daytime jobs too. Keeping it all together is our special talent. Amy holds a Masters in Organizational Management and is the Director of Education at Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro. Griselda holds a Masters of Fine Arts and is a professor at CSULB in Chicano and Latino Studies and at DeVry University. We are creative people; Amy is a classically trained cellist and Griselda is a published writer. We both love to garden and have been members of the Long Beach Community Garden for over five years, hence our understanding of what is in season. Griselda’s family recipes are very unique and in 2010 the UN granted her father’s home state of Michoacan and its food the status of an Intangible Cultural Heritage.

How is Sliced & Diced Eatery: Tortas, Melts & More involved with the community?

We recently got involved with the East Anaheim Street Business Association. We are members of DKG, a group for women educators in Long Beach and award a scholarship to a young women from LBUSD who want to pursue the teaching field as well as donate goods to Miller’s Children hospital.

We support local farms such as Lincoln Springs farm off of Long Beach Blvd.

Do you have any future plans for Sliced & Diced Eatery: Tortas, Melts & More?

We plan to stay at our location for some time and build our customer base. We look forward to relaunching our product line and offering it to local gourmet shops.

What is the best advice that you received and who did it come from?

The best advice we have received was Amy’s father, Don Eriksen, who passed away shortly after we started the business. He told us, ” Be smart about what you do, do with a smile, and you will have customers.” We miss him greatly.

One Last Thing:

Our motto, Feeding the Seasons of Your Soul, reminds us the soul food, comfort food, home-made food is all so good for us because it is made with care. If we pay attention to what is in season and combine it with foods we already love, they will be delightful. With our twists on classics, you will not be able to resist our food.

Open Thursday-Sunday. 11AM-8PM
Contact Sliced & Diced Eatery: Tortas, Melts & More:
Address: 3201 E. Anaheim St
Phone Number: 5623437001
Website: www.pepperedup.com

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