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Updated Aug 21, 2012 - 6:30 am

Wife's idea leads to delicious Valley business

Eat This! Deli and Grill at the Pump-N-Munch convenience store. (Bob McClay/KTAR)

One Valley man gave his wife her wish and it's paying off for the couple's business.

Racha Mayta used to work for Chase Bank, but when she married Sam Alsadi, he told her she could stay home.

"I said, 'OK fine, I'll just kick it,'" said Mayta. "Then I got really, really bored in a short period of time ... because my kids are grown."

Mayta had always wanted to open her own deli, and came up with the idea for a deli that could be located in a corner of Alsadi's Pump-N-Munch convenience store at 35th Avenue and Cactus Road. Alsadi rejected the idea because they would have to expand the building.

But Mayta wouldn't give up.

"I made a business plan," she said. "I said 'Are we going to have the deli or no?' And he said, 'No, it's too much work, we would have to expand.' So I said, 'OK, I have a business plan ready and I am going to go rent a spot.' He looked at me and said 'Whoa, she is serious.' "

When Alsadi finally agreed, the couple opened the Eat This! Deli and Grill in a corner of the store in 2010. When asked why he fought it so long, Alsadi joked that "I'm an old-timer. It takes me a while to change."

The eatery has become a neighborhood favorite, especially with students from Moon Valley High School, which is across the street. The deli features fresh-made Philly cheesesteaks, hamburgers, catfish filets and more.

"The cheesesteaks are great, the gangster fries are great," said customer Dan Kibbler. "It's really good food."

Things have gone so well for the couple that they have opened a second Eat This! inside a gas station and convenience store at 35th Avenue and Union Hills Drive.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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