It started with a butcher, now we're here...
The deli began with one man, Henry. In 1959 Henry's Meat Market was born on Florence Avenue in Downey. Henry grew up on a farm in Colorado and at just 14 he hitchhiked all the way to Hollywood, California thanks to strokes of luck and the kindness of a few passing strangers. In Hollywood, Henry found his way into butchery. Six years later he was able to open up his first butcher shop in Lynwood, CA. After a couple of years doing his own thing he decided to switch things up and took at job at the meat department in Metal Park Market in South Gate, CA. Then finally, he missed having his own business so he opened the little spot we all know and love today, the deli on Florence in Downey, CA. For nineteen years, Henry had a steady business selling meats and at the time he sold one sandwich, The Original as we know it today.
Once Henry became ill his nephew, George, who had always been in and out of the deli helping Henry here and there, stepped in. When it was known for sure that Henry would not be able to return to work, he asked if George wanted to buy then deli and then sold it to him for $1. Henry's only advice was to be closed one day a week for sanity and to put in some tables and chairs in the front, because it was barren at the time.
George took Henry's advice and with his go-getter attitude he took the deli to a place Henry wouldn't have been able to imagine. George turned the deli from a butchery to sandwich shop. Then, to a sandwich shop that did tons of 24-hour catering for large scale events. The eighties was a fun time at the deli, busier than ever at all times of the day. The deli had a slow period after the 2008 financial crisis and from here is when the deli started to undergo its next transition.
George's son, George III, had been working at the deli all his life. When he saw opportunity to reinvent the deli a little he seized it. This is how the immense beer wall you see before you as soon as you walk into the deli began. George saw the popularity of craft beer and decided to start carrying it in addition to the traditional Budweiser and Bud Light the deli offered at the time. The rows of taps grew and grew to the final 104 the deli has today.
about us all
Were a team of characters...with character...
At the deli, well like in most restaurants, you will find we are bit of an eccentric lot. We all have different background and dreams, but we will all always each share the time we spend here-- the hard work and the fun.
george, the boss boss
George is our unholy leader, all hail the king. He breathed new life into the deli when the deli was hanging on by a thread after the financial crisis. Now, George has been able to go back to school again- Cal State Dominguez Hills where he studies Public Healt. He is set to graduate this May. At the deli, George takes care of the beer program, financials, and makes the schedule.
Big George, the old man
If the above George is king, then this George is God. Everything we owe is to the sweat and toil of this man. Big George comes in, talks to the customers and checks in on the daily happenings of the deli. He also goes to the market.
Tina, the far away one
Tina, like her brother George, grew up at the deli. After college, she worked at the deli for two years before moving to NY-- a city she has always wanted to live in. In NY she works at restauarnts and is figuring out her life. For the deli, she deals with all training materials, the website and some financials.