January Community Partner of the Month: Nevin Martell

This month we express our deep gratitude for the support of Nevin Martell, a journalist and volunteer who’s recently come up with a way to raise money for 826DC that involves YOU eating sandwiches. That’s right. Read on and consider trying Nevin’s creation at G by Mike Isabella— $1 from every Hog Wild 2.0 hoagie sold this month supports our programs!


Can you briefly explain what Sandwich Madness is, and why you decided to dedicate your winnings to 826DC?
It’s a bracket-style competition between DC’s food journalists, who all designed a specialty hoagie with proceeds going to the winner’s favorite charity. After winning its first round in September, my Hog Wild 2.0 hoagie is on sale again until the end of January. I’m hoping it wins, so it can go on to the final round and, ultimately, take home the gold. I wanted 826DC to receive the funds I raised, because I believe good writing is a cornerstone to a successful life.

How did you first become involved with 826DC?
I was so excited when 826 opened a branch in D.C., because I love the idea of helping kids learn how to write. Since it opened, I’ve participated in a few workshops focused on cookbook writing. Whenever I’m in the area, I like to stop in regardless, because there’s always something at the gift shop that catches my eye.

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had with our programs or students?
I spent time working with students at Capital City, who wrote personal essays to accompany a treasured family recipe, which were all collected together in a fantastic cookbook, A Spoonful of 2016. Their stories were deeply emotional and highly personal, so helping these kids refine them was a very moving experience. Honestly, I had to hide my tears on a couple of occasions.

Why do you think it’s important to support young writers in DC?
Learning how to write teaches you to organize your thoughts, codify your beliefs, explore your emotions, understand how the world works, and express yourself clearly. These skills are invaluable both personally and professionally.

What makes your hoagie creation the best sandwich in the competition?
The spit roasted pork is super savory, but it’s balanced by the acid in the cider braised bacon slaw and a hit of heat from the peppers. Plus, there’s a ladleful of cheese fondue involved. On a cold winter day, it’s the perfect lunchtime pick-me-up.


“Sandwich Madness” is hosted by G by Mike Isabellalocated at 2201 14th St NW. Keep up with the bracket here. Nevin’s sandwich will be available through January. If he wins this round, we’ll need all of your sandwich-eating support again for the final round in March.