Business Revitalization: Ida’s Sandwich Shop

“We want community members to come in here and enjoy their neighbors. It’s really a space for them to connect and have that hometown feel.” – Erica Sumpter, co-owner, Ida’s Sandwich Shop.

In late June 2022, we were part of a ribbon cutting ceremony and neighborhood celebration commemorating Ida’s Sandwich Shop and the revitalization of the surrounding areas. It was an important milestone for the Observatory Hill neighborhood.

Delicious and Uplifting

The lilac walls and tantalizing aroma of Ida’s Sandwich Shop uplift patrons from the moment they walk through its doors. This shop is owned by Erica Sumpter and Charla Thomas.

Over three years ago, these Observatory Hill residents realized their neighborhood needed more places to get quality food to go. It got them brainstorming about opening a restaurant themselves. Having seen people succeed with sandwich restaurants in other parts of the city, Sumpter and Thomas decided on starting a sandwich shop of their own. In June 2022, they did just that. They now serve delicious breakfast and lunch sandwiches six days a week.

A New Neighborhood Staple

Ida’s Sandwich Shop is located just a few doors down from the Neighborhood Community Development Fun in Observatory Hill – a place where community can be felt at every corner.

“I appreciate the financial freedom of owning my own business, and want to be an inspiration for youth,” said Charla. “It was wonderful working with the Neighborhood Community Development Fund. They were informative, patient, and easy to work with.”

“Observatory Hill is a neighborhood where you feel a sense of community,” said Autumn Williams, a homeowner on Perrysville Avenue and an active volunteer in the Observatory Hill neighborhood. “The neighborhood has been asking and patiently waiting for those who are ready to invest in their dreams by opening a business in our Five Points District. Ida’s Sandwich Shop has taken that leap and we could not be happier,” she said. “We look forward to the next chapter and what it will bring to our neighborhood.”

To continue this sense of community in the area, Sumpter and Thomas want to make their shop a community center – a place to meet old friends and make new ones. “We want community members to come in here and enjoy their neighbors,” said Sumpter. “It’s really a space for them to connect and have that hometown feel.”

Ida’s Sandwich Shop is certainly a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Our team members at the Neighborhood Community Development Fund have enjoyed Ida’s delicious sandwiches for breakfast and lunch. We can’t wait to see what they’ll do next.

Quick Facts

  • Ida is Charla Thomas’s late mother. Ida was from the Northside, lived there 60+ years and went to Perry.
  • The shop has a medley of signature sandwiches, including “The Ida” (grilled hot turkey, coleslaw, Swiss cheese, and special sauce on marble rye bread) and “The Northside Po Boy” (fried shrimp, shredded lettuce, tomato, and American cheese with special sauce on a 9″ hoagie roll).
  • The addition of Ida’s Sandwich Shop to the area is an important part of the revitalization of the Five Points Business District.



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3923 Perrysville Avenue,
Pittsburgh, PA 15214