Feature Friday #012 — Maria Tina Beddia

Well hey there, here we are with Feature Friday #012! Today is all about Maria Tina Beddia. You can catch up with Maria on her website and Instagram or track her down at Maria's Bread Sandwiches.

Hiya! We're going to do this interview a little bit different and see how it goes! We'll call it rapid fire and I'll hit you with all 5 questions at once. Let's get started...

Pleeease tell us all about Maria's Bread Sandwiches. Is this a Covid Sourdough Experiment turns full on Passion Project situation? Have you always been the most talented person ever? Do you find yourself drooling all day every day being around so much delicious food? We need to know more. I guess I'm specifically asking how you got started but feel free to share it all.

Maria’s Bread Sandwiches came about when my husband and I were living in South Philly talking about what we wanted to eat for lunch one day. I was describing the kind of sandwich I wanted. “I don’t want a cheesesteak. I don’t want a hoagie. I don’t want a 5lb sandwich. I want a bread sandwich! Like from childhood! I don’t want to feel like I need to take a nap after eating.” “Maria’s Bread Sandwiches would be a great name for a sandwich shop!” said my husband. I was like, no one will get it. That’s the point! He said. Haha It doesn’t need to make sense but it will stand out and so Maria’s Bread Sandwiches was born.
It was actually over the pandemic that we moved to New Jersey and spotted a cute little shop on the main avenue of our town of Collingswood. The owners were changing careers at that point and we had told ourselves that if it ever became available, we’d have to do it. Once we found out they were moving on, we made it official. Full disclosure: my husband is a chef! So I’m very lucky in that regard. He’s been working in the Philly food scene for like 20 years so he’s very talented to say the least. We had never gone into business with each other but felt like we had these skills that would make it extra special. I got to work on the branding and interior design, paint murals, pick bright fun colors for the building while he crafted a menu full of comfort foods that we both loved. We actually just celebrated our 2nd Anniversary so I’d say we’re doing pretty good!

I don't want to be too controversial here but it feels like you're the right person to ask... how do you feel about cheddar cheese on apple pie? Have you tried it? I just can't seem to take the risk. If I have a piece of apple pie in front of me it just feels wrong to add anything other than cinnamon ice cream. What do you think? From the short bit of Googling I Just did it looks like this idea originally came from England, jury is still out on if it should've stayed there or not.

Alright, I’m a BIG cheese person. Stinky, gooey, aged…love it all. Keep it off my pie. It’s that simple. I’m not into it and ESPECIALLY cheddar. Cheddar is delicious to eat when it’s cut up in cubes on a cheeseboard but once it’s melted, yawn. I’m going to sound controversial myself but I swear, once it’s melted, it loses all flavor. Doesn’t do it for me on a burger or nachos. Give me some American, Cooper sharp, munster, Colby jack…I’m telling you, I love cheese. Haha

You've sold quite a few shirts on Cotton Bureau with Philly sports designs. Would you consider yourself a sports enthusiast? Have you always been a Phillies and Eagles fan?

This is funny because I’m not really a sports person. Don’t yell at me! That’s actually why I created these shirts. I felt like everything I saw out there was for such diehard fans and I’m thinking, what about me? I love this city and I love the enthusiasm but I don’t want to be a walking NFL billboard. Everything I saw was too corporate and not playful at all. All the women’s stuff is pale pink (blah) and I just felt there was a huge gap in it all. I want it to be for all of Philadelphia, not just the people that know sports stats.

I couldn't help but notice a sweet pupper making appearances in your Instagram posts. Who is this adorable fur child?

I actually have two dogs. Bruce (Springsteen) and Willie (Nelson). They are best friends and make my life so much more entertaining. Bruce is a little terrier mutt that made his way to Philly from a kill shelter in Georgia. He’s our southern gentleman. And willie is the chillest dog in the world. He’s a miniature Labradoodle. We adopted him when he was 5 months old. The very first night at our house, we had a party and literally walked to the middle of the room, laid down and fell asleep. We assumed he had something wrong with him and would be dead in a month because what kind of puppy acts like that when there’s a party going on around him? But he’s still going strong at 9 years old!

Lastly, if you got to pick a question for the next designer interview, what would you ask?

This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot. Everything is so digital now. I think about it and wonder if the pencil will be completely useless in my lifetime. But the question is do you prefer pencil and paper to the digital drawing pads or vice versa? It kind of freaks me out that mistakes can just disappear instantly. Like did it even happen? What does that do to us creatively? We’re not living with our mistakes anymore and that is very weird to me. Sorry, that’s a deep one. I personally absolutely love my pencils and pens and PAPER. But once I draw something how I like it, I do still scan in to colorize and clean up. So who knows.

And that's a wrap! Check out Maria's latest product below and use coupon code MARIAFF for 15% off any of her Cotton Bureau designs.