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Cherry Deli: Simply Amazing

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This article was written and edited by Abby Tideman, Jonathan Krzykwa, Jacob Brunner, Brooke Fortney, and Jennifer Hathaway for EN 101-1300 at GRCC.

The Cherry Deli has inspired more than just taste buds; it has helped invigorate a once struggling neighborhood. The block between Eastern and Diamond is now a thriving community thanks in part to local businesses like this. The deli is locally themed and locally focused; all the sandwiches are named after streets and places in Grand Rapids, and it gives the surrounding community a local, healthy and friendly place to eat.

Cherry Deli opened in 2005. "The owner, Scott, wasn’t planning on opening the Deli in Grand Rapids,” Abby, an employee of the Cherry Deli, said. “He came here for culinary school and in the meantime his wife, Susan, got a job. She actually picked the location of the deli, not Scott. She decided it would be best if it were located at 834 Cherry Street. It had always been Scott’s dream to open his own business and finally be the one in charge. That way Scott could decide what to change and when, and he could actually get to know the customers, not just make their food.”

But owning a restaurant also comes with a lot of responsibilities.

“Everyday is different. You can’t schedule for what can come at you. One day you might come in to find a broken dishwasher, or a fountain drink machine out of carbonation. Another great example would be business. You can’t predict how busy the restaurant will be on any given day,” said Scott.

Cherry Deli offers a variety of sandwiches. Of the 55, there are 15 vegetarian sandwiches, as well as four fat-free meats. The menu also includes ten salads, six soups of the day, and delectable cookies for those in need of sweet tooth satisfaction. They also have an assortment of different ingredients that are exclusive to the Cherry Deli, such as flavored mayonnaise. Most of the food is made and prepared at the deli, not prepackaged.

You get what you pay for. In the case of Cherry Deli, that means high-quality, local ingredients. Many of the products used are from Michigan and some come from Grand Rapids. For example, the bread the Deli uses is prepared in Detroit, and the cookie dough is from Grand Rapids.

The atmosphere at the Cherry Deli is friendly, warm, and inviting. It offers an enjoyable dining experience because it’s so family friendly and casual.  Scott explained, “We are able change moods with our unique style.”

Lately, Cherry Deli has also made an effort to be eco-friendly. They recycle aluminum cans, glass, cardboard, paper, and plastic, and use reusable cups in the deli to reduce waste. There is also a recycling bin in the Deli for people to place their empty bottles and cans in. Since making these changes, the deli has reduced its waste output by 40 percent. Scott goes out of his way to recycle even though it would be easier to throw things away.

The Cherry Deli is open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Already tried the Cherry Deli? Looking for something new? Scott is continuing to expand his business.  He opened a second deli called 4th Street Deli one year ago. The 4th Street Deli has 100 sandwiches and 20 salads, and all 100 of their sandwiches are different from those at the Cherry Deli.

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