116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - Matt Georges credits a time crunch and his rescued greyhound for the name of his successful business in the downtown Cedar Rapids Public Library.
Georges was running a breakfast stand, Griddle Me This, in the Iowa City Farmer's Market in 2012 when one of the organizers for NewBo City Market approached him about submitting his concept for consideration as a vendor.
'We were under the deadline for coming up with a name, but we didn't like anything we kept trying,” he recalled, 'so this (Greyhound Deli) just floated out of the air and it worked.”
A commitment to providing his customers the best and freshest food experience using locally sourced breads, meats and bakery goods quickly cultivated a faithful following.
Soups, salads, sandwiches and baked goods - all made on site - along with top notch coffees brewed from beans supplied by two area roasters keeps the staff of five employees hopping.
'We are open the entire time the library is open,” he said, adding that the drive-through window opens at 7:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.
'There are no artificial flavors or corn syrup in any of our products and all of our flavorings are made from scratch,” he said. The deli's seasonal pumpkin spice coffee drink has real pumpkin puree in it.
Georges' cooking career began early in life.
His father died when he was 10 and Georges began assuming some of the meal prep to assist his mother who worked long hours as an accountant.
'My mother encouraged me,” he said. 'I really liked it so she would let me do more and more and eventually I was making the whole meal.”
By the time he was 14, Georges was working in restaurants handling the front end work and taking phone orders.
'My first real cooking job was actually at the Hamburg Inn in Iowa City while I was in college,” he said. 'I worked in a lot of restaurants where the chefs discouraged hiring from the culinary schools. They wanted to teach their employees how they liked things done, and I preferred to get paid while I was learning.”
In January 2015, he was approached by the director of the downtown library and asked to interview for the cafe spot to replace the previous vendor.
'I came over, checked it out, and thought it looked pretty good,” he said. 'Many of our regulars from New Bo followed us over here, and now we have the library regulars as well as people from the downtown businesses who like to come in.”
Georges is grateful that he was asked to come into the library scene.
'It is one of the coolest spaces to have a food business,” he added. 'We have this super modern building with a platinum energy efficient kitchen. I don't know many other kitchens that can make that claim.
'This building has that coffee shop vibe, but you can check out materials and you can enjoy the green roof. There's Greene Square right across the street. It's just a phenomenal place to be.”
Add to that a capable staff who work well together as a team and Georges has a lot to smile about.
'I am so comfortable working with my manager and my people these days.”
AT A GLANCE
Business: Greyhound Deli
Owner: Matt Georges
Address: 450 Fifth St. SE, Cedar Rapids
Telephone: (319) 739-0499
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