Fire ‘ladies’ continue a decades-long hoagie tradition

Sales have risen, with sandwiches often gone in a few hours

The fire company ladies auxiliary has been making hoagies for nearly 70 years whose sales benefit the department.

If you lived in or grew up in Palmyra, it’s safe to say you know of a tradition nearly 70 years in the making.

The ladies auxiliary of the township fire department has been hard at work since September on its annual hoagie sale, with dozens of sandwiches made every other week on the first and third Wednesday of the month. Previously a year-round effort, the hoagie sale has been extended just through May, with roughly 20 or so hoagie days during that time. 

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“I’ve been helping to run this for maybe 15 years or so,” auxiliary President Tish Marshall said. “There’s about seven or eight of us that show up every first and third Wednesday of the month. We missed one year when COVID first hit, but we started back up again in 2021.”

Marshall is one of a few auxiliary members who help assemble and package sandwiches  during hoagie days. Not only does the money from sales of $6-dollar sandwiches go back to the fire department, hoagies are made by volunteers.

“People don’t come in and just get one,” Marshall noted. “They’re usually buying for their entire family. I don’t think we’ve been stuck with spare hoagies since before COVID.”

What was previously 15 dozen or so products made on each hoagie day has grown to 20 dozen. Sales take place over one to two hours, with people ordering ahead of time. The best thing about the hoagie tradition, Marshall believes, are the return customers.

“When they come in, they say, ‘Oh my god, this brings back so many memories,’” she said.  “Most people that get them now have been getting them forever.”


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