Cody Standley had always dreamed of owning a restaurant. He enjoyed cooking for friends and watching Gordon Ramsay and other celebrity chefs, but he never expected he would get the opportunity until later in life, if at all. In 2014, Standley came to Chico from Sacramento looking to change things up following a bad breakup. Since then, he worked doing deliveries and as a shift manager at places like Woodstock’s Pizza, Round Table Pizza and Rite Aid. Then his neighbor, Jeff Zani, asked him one night what he would want to do if he could do anything, and Standley mentioned his dream of owning a restaurant. Zani, who had just come into an inheritance, was looking for an investment opportunity, and the two quickly partnered up. They came up with the idea of Son of a Wich, a sandwich shop specializing in pressed and toasted sandwiches—something they saw lacking in Chico—with a demonic twist in the name of the shop, its logo and sandwich names, like its flagship, the Witchy Wich, as well as the Beastly Cuban and the Pitchfork—while using as many local ingredients as possible. Standley recently sat down with the CN&R to chat about the sandwich shop, which is located at 1008 W. Sacramento Ave., Ste. H. The grand opening is planned for Jan. 13.
What inspired the sandwich shop idea?
Marijuana. We were outside smoking and we were just talking about life and what I want to do, and he was gonna be coming into some money and wanted to do something with it, and I was the best idea he ran into. I know I’m incredibly lucky. … Coming up with the name, I wish I was joking, was done in like 15 minutes. I feel like people are scared and nobody does anything demonic, even though it can be done fun, and with a light heart.
Tell me about your restaurant experience before Son of a Wich.
I’ve worked in some kind of restaurant for like 15 years. Before this job, I was working at Woodstock’s as a driver and then I worked at Round Table before that as a shift supervisor. I went to calgold.ca.gov, and it tells you everything in any county, any city, all of the pieces of paperwork you need to start a new business of any kind. I used that as a reference guide and started calling people.
How’s business so far?
We had our soft opening Dec. 1, and we’re already paying our bills with the money that we’ve made.
What’s the plan for the future?
I have a p.m. menu that’s gonna be launching, which is like loaded fries, fried chicken, deep-fried jalapeños … just, like, drunk food, but affordable and fresh-made. And so we’ll be open on Friday and Saturdays until 3 a.m. If you’re partying out, and you want something where you’re not gonna wake up in the morning and feel like death … that’s something I wanna offer.