48-year-old Philip Sardelis started the Peruvian restaurant chain Sardi's Chicken with his cousin, also called Philip Sardelis. He leaves behind his wife and four children.
Philip Sardelis, 48, has passed away following complications after contracting COVID-19. The businessman battled the virus after testing positive in March 2021.
Sardelis started the Peruvian chicken restaurant Sardi's chicken with his cousin, who goes by the same name. The two Sardelises opened their first branch in Beltsville in 2008, with 14 other locations opening since.
Screenshot of Sardi's Chicken video from October 4, 2017. | Source: YouTube/ Sardi's Chicken
LOVE FOR FOOD AND FAMILY
Despite Sardelis's Greek background, he decided to delve into the Peruvian food industry because of the rich flavors that it afforded them. In the wake of Sardi's Chicken's co-founder's death, his cousin remembers him as follows:
“He was passionate about food and had a love for the Peruvian community. He had a love for kids and a love of helping others.”
The surviving Sardelis remembers his cousin as a man who came across as very tough but actually had a very soft heart and was always willing to come to the aid of those around him.
The 48-year-old businessman was very involved in his local community. He was part of the football coaching team for the Olney Boys and Girls Community Sports Association for several years.
Regardless of his business's difficulties due to the pandemic, Sardelis rallied his resources to help the community.
Having invested many hours into his community and his business, Sardelis's proudest moment remained when he was chosen as a premier caterer for Barack Obama’s inaugural ball.
ALWAYS STRIVING FOR BETTER
Sardelis was always striving to improve and present better food and service to his customers with Sardi's Chicken as his absolute pride and joy. He was also aware of the Peruvian reputation that he was carrying as he shared:
“Not being Peruvian helps me more.I don’t want to let [Peruvians] down. I’m always striving for that perfection.”
The widespread locations of the various Sardi's Chicken branches speak to the restaurant's success in the thirteen years that it has been around. Now the franchise is left to operate without one of its founding members.
HELPING THE COMMUNITY
Sardelis's willingness to help those in need was showcased in the project he launched in April 2020. Regardless of his business's difficulties due to the pandemic, Sardelis rallied his resources to help the community.
Sardelis teamed up with Washington Redskins wide receiver Gary Clark to cook hot meals for the healthcare workers at Shady Grove Medical Center and the Montgomery County Crisis Center.
The late restaurant owner's ability to put the needs of others above his own was demonstrated in his work to provide support to those working on the frontline of the pandemic.
Sardelis's legacy is carried forward by the family he leaves behind, including his wife, Lisette, and four children, Marcel, 28, Michael, 19, Georgie, 12, and Nefeli, 10.