We had the good fortune of connecting with Stef and Chris Schaldenbrand and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stef and Chris, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
We were inspired by the great smash burger pop-ups all over the city and thought- hey, we could offer an AM option and do this with homemade breakfast sausage! The idea really took off from there. We spent a couple months perfecting the recipe for our sausage and smash sauce, deciding on just the right muffin, sourcing our ingredients and coming up with our name and logo. A.M. Smash is where we landed.
What should our readers know about your business?
We believe being a breakfast sandwich pop-up naturally sets us apart. There aren’t many of us out there! Our biggest challenge is the small window for breakfast. It limits our ability to partner with other venues who primarily draw a lunch / dinner crowd, such as breweries and bars that don’t have an in-house food program. While there’s not a concrete way to overcome it, we’ve just decided our energy is better spent on making sure every customer who chooses to start their day with us has the best experience (and sandwich) possible! We receive a LOT of love in our 2-hour window and we couldn’t really ask for more.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
So much to cover, such little time! A few faves in no particular order: – For starters, as many of our favorite pop-ups all over the city as possible
– Burritos La Palma
– Mixed box of Randy’s Donuts, with Sip & Sonder Coffee
– Drinks at The Fields before an LAFC game
– Beers at Three Weavers before a Rams game at SoFi
– and definitely a trip to Sara’s Market to shop for so many of LA’s artisan foods
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Our Shoutout, without a doubt, goes to our customers. We obviously wouldn’t be here without them, but it’s so much more than that. We’re humbled every time they choose to start the day with us. And, many have become friends over time. We’ve gotten to know their friends, roommates, kids, parents and of course their dogs. Our customers are always so lovely, so happy, and a pleasure to serve. They really make us who we are. Also, when you live through a pandemic together, you’re bound to bond!
We are also so appreciative of other pop-ups for their support – from Mark Tripp of Tripp Burger’s constant willingness to lend his advice with logistical questions to Smokey Jones’s push to get us back to smashing during the lockdown and DJ and Jess at Mellowist, who have opened their doors to us and created an epic space for our customers to spend a Sunday morning – this community is collaborative and pretty freakin’ magical.
@johnriddle @the_roz @dumbnhungry