Forget the Cheesecake Factory. We’re here for the cheesesteak factory. Dustin Vitale is a 26-year-old teacher in Philadelphia, PA who loves his job. In addition to his job, Dustin loves his mother, Gloria Walker.
Last year, on top of a pandemic, Gloria, Dustin, and their family had to go through the heartbreaking experience of her being diagnosed with cancer. To add insult to injury, the cancer was found to be terminal giving the 56-year-old mother a less liberal timeline to make her dreams come true.
One of the ailing mother’s dreams was to visit the pyramids in Egypt with her family; something she had wanted to do since childhood. Unfortunately, the cost and physical limitations of someone in her condition put the desire out of reach. Or so she thought.
One of Vitale’s many loves is a cheesesteak. Being a resident of Philly, he certainly wasn’t the only one who fancied the iconic sandwich and thus, an idea was born to get his mother to Giza. He would make and sell cheesesteaks.
With a team consisting of Dustin, his wife Hailey, his stepfather, father, stepmother, siblings and friends, the at-home cheesesteak assembly line launched fueled by love, hope, and Gloria’s recipe.
Each morning at four, the team wakes up to start preparing the homemade rolls.
Dustin offers regular, chicken and Buffalo cheesesteak and each order comes with fries. They aren’t stingy on the meat either. One hearty platter only costs $15 making it the perfect lunch or dinner option.
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The endeavor began in February and although the devoted son wasn’t sure how well the venture would be, they got almost 94 orders in one day. The operation got another boost when award-winning chef Michael Solomonov gave Vitale a shout-out and thumbs-up on social media. After that, orders came in such a capacity that without a commercial kitchen, Dustin would not have been able to keep up. A local food truck owner kindly allowed the family to use his kitchen on wheels.
Within six weeks, Dustin was able to give his mother the good news. $18,000 later, he booked the trip to Giza for the entire family with money to spare. The family is slated for their visit later this year.