Deli offers fresh dining option
Growing up in Williamsville, Shawn Truitt and her mother Jackie Dickerson didn’t have to go far to get a good dinner. Local bars were, and still are, good for leisurely meals and appetizers after work, they said. But there was never a convenient place close by to stop, and pick up a good sandwich for lunch. So the pair decided to do something about it.
After Truitt returned from Virginia, where she attended Liberty University and managed a deli/bar, they decided to open up a deli of their own, to offer local residents another “alternative” dining choice. The Williamsville Market and Deli opened on Aug. 7 in the Williamsville shopping center on Route 54 and has been bustling — especially for lunch — ever since.
“It’s something different,” said Truitt, who graduated from Liberty with a degree in psychology and a minor in business management. The 1991 Indian River High School graduate worked serving jobs for the five years since returning to the area, saving money and anticipating the opening of her own lunch spot. “Nobody has done this. We always wanted somewhere (different) to go.”
The word that probably best describes the new Williamsville deli: fresh. Potato, pasta chicken, egg, tuna and green salads are homemade fresh daily as is the cole slaw and an apple crisp, the smell of which filled the small shop on Wednesday afternoon.
Truitt’s brother and father run a local produce stand, selling fresh produce grown on the farm where the Williamsville native spent her childhood. So, as is no surprise, all of the deli’s produce comes directly from the farm.
The store also sells Edy’s ice cream and snow balls — products left over from the ice cream shop that formerly occupied the cozy corner that sports cloud-painted high ceilings and a back wall now decorated by the deli’s emblem. Signature Boar’s Head products, though, have likely been what brings the crowd in from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. daily for the already prevalent lunch rush.
“Every time we’d go visit (Truitt in Virginia), we had the greatest deli sandwiches,” Dickerson said. “We said, ‘We need that at home.’”
With the Boar’s Head meats and cheeses, and the fresh produce, the deli’s staff makes likely soon-to-be favorites such as the “Club 54,” which got its name from Route 54. The Club offers smoked ham, turkey, bacon and provolone cheese on panini bread with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise.
Other sandwiches include “The Selby,” a roast beef concoction with horseradish sauce; “The Roxana,” an Italian sandwich; the “Fenwick Islander”; and “The Slower Lower,” filled with knockwurst, pastrami and Swiss. The “Nino Bambino,” an Italian blend of mozzarella, tomato, olive oil and basil that got its name from an Italian friend who helped with the three-month grind to prepare the store for its early-August opening is already popular, as is the store itself.
“I think (the deli) great,” said Randy Tweit, co-owner of the two-year-old Crabby Clam liquor store, across the parking lot from the deli. Tweit said that customers formerly expressed their desire for a food stop in the shopping center. “They have great food,” he added, raving about the homemade soups and “The Bishop,” a turkey-breast sandwich. “It’s been very convenient.”
Since her days working full-time in the deli between and after classes, and staying after college to manage the spot, Truitt knew she wanted to offer such service in her hometown. And after only four years of anticipation, and one year of work to open the Williamsville shop, expansion is already a possibility.
Truitt said that, one day, she hopes to add a bar and a grill, making the spot similar to Rehoboth’s Arena’s or the deli she managed in Virginia. Until then, though, locals will have to settle for signature Boar’s Head sandwiches, fresh salads and what some consider the best homemade apple crisp on Delaware’s coast.
“There’s not a deli at all around here that has our specialty items,” Dickerson said, noting that she and her daughter did not open the deli out of a desire to compete. They wanted to offer the area a new product. “That was our goal.”
Call the Williamsville Market and Deli at 436-0301 for more information.