As part of the #ShopLocalChallenge, myself, Beth and Dave have committed to spending our money only at locally-owned, small businesses in the Utica-Rome area for the next 30 days. It's leading me to make choices in terms of my spending that in return will help our neighbors.

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For over 40 years, Mello's Subs has been a staple in the Utica. When I first moved back to the area, I tried going there for lunch only to realize that they take cash only. So I left, because I didn't have cash, and went someplace else. After realizing I had cash today, I immediately knew what I wanted.

Credit: Mello's Subs via Facebook

I've seen photos from the outside and inside of Mello's before, and to my surprise it looked like they have recently renovated. Previously, customers are greeted to the store front by a giant sign that says "Mello's Subs -The Original-" with a giant sandwich. Today, the store front looked a little bit different from what we have seen before.

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It looks like Mello's is going along with the general "on the block" look - using a green fabric canopy with a newly designed logo. They also made some changes to the inside.

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Keeping the same original menu board and the iconic New York sports memorabilia, it looks like they made an upgrade to the counter space as well.

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Regardless, it was a great lunch - made by a business locally owned and operated. I ordered a turkey, ham and roast beef sub that was delicious. The guys there made fun of me for ordering the combination of meats, but it's my favorite.


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Kaylin’s first #shoplocalchallenge purchase - lunch from Mello’s Subs! 📍242 Genessee St, Utica

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Remember, the #ShopLocalChallenge is going on until the end of June. There will be t-shirts for the top 30 participants, and even a grand prize for one lucky shopper.

Here's what you need to do to take part:

  • SHOP LOCAL whenever you can
  • When you do, share a picture of your purchased item (or items) on Instagram (or email us/Facebook message us the picture), and tag the business, @lite987, and use the hashtag #ShopLocalChallenge.