The cheesesteak made its official debut in America 1930. Pat Olivieri was a South Philadelphia hot dog vendor who one day decided to put some beef from the butcher on his grill. A taxicab driver noticed the alluring aroma and asked for his own steak sandwich. The next day, as the story goes, rumor of the delicious lunch had spread, and cabbies around the city came to Olivieri demanding steak sandwiches. Soon after, Olivieri opened up a shop on 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue, Pat’s King of Steaks, to sell his new creation. Eventually, according to legend, he added cheese to the recipe.


Eager to share a part of his Philadelphia background, Geno Sparrow made Philly cheesesteaks for his Australian colleagues in the financial services industry. His colleagues were so impressed with the sandwich and Geno’s recipe for making them, he was inspired to bring this American cultural icon to the Australian public. Collaborating with Sammy Lynch, the concept of Sparrow’s Philadelphia was born.


Cheesesteaks are fast, portable and readily available at steak shops, delis, food trucks, pizzerias and even some high-end restaurants throughout Philadelphia and the Tri-State area. In Philadelphia, cheesesteaks are a civic icon, a tourist attraction, and a cultural obsession. Australians have not yet learned to embrace this delicacy, but Sparrow’s Philly Steaks is here to change this.


Geno and Sammy seek to replicate the success of this product in Australia, a country of burgers and kebabs.