Willow Grove, PA

Manny's Deli Stop Coming to Willow Grove Summer 2023

Marilyn Johnson

Rob Woloshin and brothers Jeremy and Chase Thomas were on a mission just five years ago, opening MANNY's to preserve, celebrate and reinvigorate the traditional Jewish Deli they experienced growing up with their parents and grandparents.

MANNY'S Deli Stop is under construction at 4003 Welsh Road, Willow Grove, PA, and plans to open in Summer 2023.Photo byMANNY'S Deli Stop

Today they are building a new second location at 4003 Welsh Road, Willow Grove, PA, under the name MANNY's Deli Stop. The new store is based on a detailed business plan with a custom-designed kitchen, service, dining areas, and a new menu emphasizing sandwiches and the deli grocery orders.

Legendary delis are popular across generations for the quality and hefty portions they serve, the often quirky casual decor and furnishings, and a roster of regular characters frequently very particular with their deli rituals.  

So when three young guys with collective business savvy and a passion decided that their first entrepreneurial venture would be the purchase of a storied but under-performing Jewish Deli, the natural reaction was  ... "Oy Gevalt!"

Serving The Traditional Audience While Building New Clientele

They renamed the place MANNY's, after the cook at Camp Nockamixon, where Rob, Jeremy and Chase went to summer camp together as kids. A massive clean-up and cosmetic updates brought the old place up to the high standard of new owners while preserving the funky charm that is an essential successful deli ingredient. 

"We wanted to shake up the Jewish Deli scene a bit ... old school meets new school," says Woloshin. "A big factor of this is our customer service. When you are dealing with a Jewish deli where part of the genre is finicky, hard-to-please patrons and an amiably adversarial staff, we did set a high standard in this category."

The reward for hard work and focus was a steady money-maker that allowed them to start planning to spread their updated Jewish Deli concept throughout the region and beyond.

At the original Manny's, they played with high-concept specialties like Chopped Liver & PBJ appetizers and Jewish Fried Chicken (JFC) made with pastrami seasonings. The newly evolved MANNY's Deli Stop, born amid the post-pandemic realities of high food costs and staffing issues, offers a simpler straight-ahead menu of the most popular traditional offerings.

Reaching out to a broader audience with this 2nd location, they hope to attract the traditional clientele of MANNY's -- lovably eccentric, idiosyncratic, and even at times irascible deli patrons -- and a younger crowd with their quirks. The guys say attracting the right mix is essential, or they would miss the daily dose of old-fashioned kibitzing. 

The MANNY's team has been spreading the word with their Instagram-driven Social Media program of witty and ironic posts helping to set the tone for the new MANNY's Deli Stop. 

"Again, working the dynamic of the old versus new image of the Jewish deli and MANNY's Deli Stop in particular, Social Media produces really interesting engagements and dialog," says partner Jeremy who monitors the chatter looking for new insights and promo opportunities.

Before Expansion MANNY's Extended Itself With Corporate Pop-Ups & Catering 

The new growth strategy for MANNY's Deli Stop is aggressively building daily lunch and later afternoon dine-in business, deli retail, as well as continuing to service a strong catering trade. Their experience over five years doing pop-up lunch service programs at office complexes in the area has paid off big. The MANNY's menu is very popular with the suburban office crowd, with orders on many days reaching up to 150 daily lunch orders per location.

Expanding MANNY's community and corporate catering portfolio has also been a major focus for partner Chase Thomas.

"Of course the economics of catering is a major boost to our retail businesses and the original MANNY's has thrived because we are seeing recurring orders from clients like Deloitte, Price Waterhouse Cooper, GoPuff, Steven Singer, and RushOrderTees," says Chase. "Once we are open at MANNY's Deli Stop we will develop and expand catering -- always with the emphasis of over-delivering in terms of service."

Established during the past few summers, the MANNY's at the Shore -- Order for Pickup family provisioning program may be curtailed for this season due to the opening of the new MANNY's Deli Stop. But they expect to expand that initiative when the new store is open.

Rob says they are taking the relatively new venture one day at a time. Still, the three boyhood friends turned business partners have high hopes for MANNY's Deli Stop as a significant brand expansion opportunity.

"You never know. You might be eating at a MANNY's at resort hotels, airports, and the one around the corner from your home sometime in the future," says Rob.

Marilyn Johnson is a freelance food and travel writer covering the food and drink scene of Philadelphia, South Jersey food, the greater Mid-Atlantic area, and beyond. Email Marilyn at phillygrub@gmail.com with food and travel news. If you liked this article, throw Marilyn a coffee! Follow Marilyn on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

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Marilyn Johnson is a Philadelphia area-based food and travel writer focusing on food & drink in the Mid-Atlantic region—email phillygrub@gmail.com for Philly area news; midatlanticfoodscene@gmail.com for Mid-Atlantic food news.

Philadelphia, PA

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