116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
My Biz: Club Deli serves up soups, sandwiches
By R'becca Groff, correspondent
Oct. 16, 2014 6:00 am
CEDAR RAPIDS — Club Deli owner Chris Dlouhy started cooking as a kid and has never really stopped.
'I've always liked to cook,' he said. 'As kids, my mother told us if we wanted a hot lunch on the weekends, we needed to make it for ourselves because she'd worked all week.'
He began working at Club Deli when it first opened in 1993.
'I just fell in love with the place,' he said. 'This was the only job that I ever had that I actually looked forward to coming into work.'
When an opportunity arose in 2009, he bought the business. He now runs it Monday through Friday with the help of two part-time employees.
Dlouhy prides himself on the fresh, made-from-scratch products he offers.
'Everything we have here we make from scratch, and that includes the dill spread that we use on our sandwiches.' All soups — except the chicken tortilla soup — and the chili are made by him.
'We even make our own pasta salad and dressings,' he added.
Dlouhy's work day begins at 6 a.m. when he comes in to cut all the vegetables and get the soups on to cook. 'We open at 10:30 a.m. and I get everything ready to go before my employees arrive to help for the day.'
The deli draws in customers from Rockwell Collins and Transamerica as well as a medical office nearby.
'We see a lot of the patients or their families who come in to buy food and take it back while they wait for their appointments,' he added.
And then there are his regulars, who Dlouhy says will come no matter what the weather is like outside.
Dlouhy likes to scout out his competition from time to time. 'I try to go to the other places to eat,' he said.
And while he admits he cannot compete with their prices, he believes he offers a higher-quality product than many of the big food chains.
'I pride myself on the quality of meats and cheeses I offer, and that we use fresh vegetables every day.'
At a glance
- Owner: Chris Dlouhy
- Company: Club Deli
- Address: 1933 51st Street NE, Cedar Rapids, IA
- Phone: (319) 393-0522
- Website: Find them on Facebook
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