Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post
Provided by @margiesmeatloafmecca on Instagram. Margie, green shirt, poses with OU Women's soccer team in front of the Meatloaf Banner at Chesea Field

Margie’s Meatloaf Mecca leaves Athens

After confusing many driving to Athens on Route 33 and more recently Route 50 with a strange billboard promising meatloaf served with strawberry milk since October 2019, Margie’s Meatloaf Mecca is going away.

On Dec. 29, 2023, Margie’s Meatloaf Mecca Instagram account reported its website and online store would close Jan. 1, 2024. In its final joke to Athens, it announced it would sell its recipe and business to military contractor Lockheed Martin.

The fake company was created by OU alum John Sammon, CEO of Sixth City Marketing, and Steve DiMatteo, senior SEO strategist at Sixth City Marketing, about 10-12 years ago. They started it as a prank on his friend Margie Pandora, who had an upcoming wedding, and they were meeting in Athens for a pre-celebration. 

The group put money together and set up the now-famous billboard right before she arrived in Athens. When Margie drove down Route 33 she saw a billboard with a huge blown-up picture of her face that had the name “Margie’s Meatloaf Mecca” on the right and the left said, “We only serve meatloaf and strawberry milk, coming to Athens soon.”

Sammon said Margie’s Meatloaf Mecca was a good creative outlet for him to express his imagination and he had fun keeping the bit going much longer than expected. But, out for the sake of his friend, he and the rest of the crew realized it was time to end things.

“Margie has been through enough," Sammon said. “She's great, she loves it, but I think for something we thought we would last a weekend it's lasted a lot longer.”

It didn’t take long for people to notice the billboard and start posting about it on Twitter. Sammon said people’s posts are what drove him and his friends to keep the joke going for four years.

According to Sixth City Marketing’s website, which operated Margie’s, Sammon was able to grow this fake brand online by creating a website called, making social media accounts like Facebook, creating a fake location for a restaurant on Court Street on Google Business, generating press mentions including an article in Athens News, utilizing e-commerce to sell t-shirts and sending the proceeds to the Athens County Food Pantry and collaborating with local businesses.

Sammon said one of the collaborations Margie’s did before it shut down on the 1st was with the Ohio University women’s soccer team. He and many people at Sixth City Marketing became huge fans of the women’s soccer team and wanted to sponsor OU athletics, but they wanted to do it with a small quirk.

The company paid for a banner similar to the billboard on the highway but without Margie’s face that was put up on the gate at Chessa Field. Sammon said he and his team had worked in Athens with a t-shirt company called This One Time In College that has been since sold and did a lot of work with OU athletics. This led to them getting “hooked” on women’s soccer.

Aaron Rodgers, OU’s women’s soccer coach, said he thinks it’s been a really cool partnership and a great talking point between student-athletes. 

“I take it as a great representation of our team in the fact that he really appreciated how professional and how respectful our student-athletes are,” Rodgers said. “I think that's just as a great testament to the women that they are and what we're able to do inside of our program.”

The partnership grew as OU played its rival Miami in 2022 and Margie’s Instagram deemed it the “Loaf Bowl.” Margie celebrated the triumph of the Loaf Bowl after OU beat Miami 2-0. Rodgers said Sammon and Pandora have been super supportive of the team with posts about the Loaf Bowl and naming some players' loaf legends and loaf stars.

With the rising popularity of the company, Sammon decided to promote the brand by selling Margie’s Meatloaf Mecca t-shirts and donating all the proceeds to the Athens County Food Pantry. Within the last four years, Sammon said the company sold over 500 items in the store and donated over $3,000 to the food pantry. 

The clothing store 10 West Clothing Co. also partnered with Margie’s Meatloaf Mecca and sold the t-shirts; however, only a profit of the shirts bought from 10 West would go to the Athens Food County Pantry. 

In last year’s homecoming parade, Sammon said, Margie’s Meatloaf Mecca had a minivan drive-through with banners showcasing the brand and the beloved Margie peering outside the vehicle. 

"They were cheering her because they knew who she was because they saw the ads,“ he said. "(Margie) was in heaven … we went out afterward and people were taking selfies, it was crazy.”

He extended the Margie brand by collaborating with local businesses. Over this past summer, Fluff Bakery, 8 N. Court St., helped the team sell meatloaf and strawberry milk for the first time. 

“The best part about this was that this was done in the summer,” Sammon said. “It was literally 90 degrees in August, and they probably sold 50 or 60 lunches.”

Margie’s was also recently featured by Nelsonville brewery Happy Hollow Brewing. Sammon said the brewery reached out to him about the idea of making a beer based on the fake company.

Sammon agreed, and the result was a 13.7% alcohol-by-volume beer sold at Tony’s Tavern, 7 W. State St., for Athens Brew Week. 

“It's one of those things where it's like, it's good, but … you definitely want to sip this one, but it's fun,” Sammon said.

After Margie posted about the closing of the company, the brewery responded on its Facebook page the same day to wish the (beloved) company farewell. 

“We’ll be sad to see our favorite restaurant go, but happy for Margie’s early retirement,” the brewery wrote on its page

Sammon said there are more fun things to come from Margie’s Meatloaf Mecca as one last hurrah before officially putting the joke to rest. 



Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH