Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jacqui’s Deli in Greysolon Plaza has small town charm

Caption: Jacqui Bergson with fresh bread at her deli at 231 E. Superior Street. [Photo by Holly Nelson]

By By Holly Nelson
Jacqui’s Deli and Market, 231 E. Superior St., provides Duluthians with a chance to enjoy what in today’s world is a rare experience that guarantees to give anyone that small town feel. Not only can one find themselves a delicious meal made to order by Jacqui herself, plus a chance to get some much needed groceries, but they can also discover what it means to be a part of a community—and all in one stop.

As one door closed in Jacqui Bergson’s life when she was laid off from her job, another door opened when Jacqui noticed the “For Sale” sign in the window of the old Romano’s Grocery on Superior Street. Jacqui told herself, “I’ve been doing this type of customer service for a while, so I might as well do it for myself now.” A true family business, Jacqui’s Deli and Market was completely renovated solely by Jacqui and her mother aside from some outside electric and flooring help.

The variety of sandwiches and soups at Jacqui’s is sure to please any hungry customer. While all of the soups are distinctively homemade, the chili, served every day, has been in Jacqui’s family for over 70 years. The sandwiches, built to order and made with a variety of bread from local Johnson’s Bakery, provide a hearty lunch with their large portions and fresh veggies. One of the deli’s most popular items is a cup of soup and half a sandwich for only $6.75. In addition to using bread from a local bakery, Jacqui also stays local by selling Arco coffee. “We wanted to keep it simple and fresh,” says Jacqui. “You get to know people on the street,” she added. “It truly is a neighborhood.”

Some of the customers Jacqui and her family members have gotten to know quite well include hotel guests, local workers, and even hospital patients and their family members. Jacqui has even been known to specially make a soup at request from her loyal customers. As Jacqui says, “It’s really fun to cook for people when they enjoy it.” Jacqui’s Deli and Market is a great example of the quickly disappearing human connection between business owner and customers.
Jacqui is looking forward to the construction of a skywalk that will cross Third Avenue, connecting her building to the hospital and providing customers with an indoor entrance to the building.

While Jacqui is in the process of designing the new sign, “Romano’s Grocery” remains on the outside of the deli on Third Avenue East and Superior Street.
Call-ahead orders are welcomed at (218)-727-8263, and the deli and market are open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.