By RYAN STEWART
Mom and Pop
People often wonder why so many individuals prefer places with Mom and Pop style over the big corporate chains. There are many reasons, one of which is the quality of the product and the fact that it is homemade. The Tans were asked what separates them from other deli style restaurants, such as Subway or Schlotzsky’s.
Geraldine Tan said “We’re Mom and Pop. We are not corporate. Like a lot of our food is bought fresh that day. Like Subway the round grilled chicken comes in frozen.”
According to her, all their food is made there daily and so it is fresh. This really does separate George’s Deli from the competition. Subway stores most likely do not go to buy fresh chicken breast or fresh bodies of meats and cheeses daily.
Running a business can be an extremely difficult task to accomplish. Even when you are as familiar with the food industry like the Tans are; Albert being a pastry chef and Geraldine being a waitress, there are new challenges a new owner can face. When asked about struggles they have come across so far, they said that the pace that you work as an owner is completely different from that of a server or a cook, because an owner is not just meeting the needs of the customers, but the employees as well.
Same Taste, Different Name
Restaurants that sell sandwiches are great to open, because everyone loves sandwiches. When asked why sandwiches, Geraldine Tan said, “The original owner had this place for 8 or 9 years. It was part of a chain of delis called “My Friends Place.” At the beginning of the year, he got himself out of the franchise and changed it to “George’s Deli.” So many of the food and recipes are the same, but the names of the sandwiches have changed. “Like it used to be called the Tuna Deli, now it is the Tuna Melt.” She went on to say that the big reason why they kept the original menu after they bought the store was so the regular customers, which make up the majority of their clientele would still come around, and not think it is a completely different store.
George’s Deli is trying to break the mold in being just an average Mom and Pop deli. They do so by adding a breakfast menu, and also have other foods such as pasta salads, regular salads, and sweet desserts. In the future, they see themselves having an oven where they can make fresh bread, and Albert can use his pastry skill daily by making fresh pastries.
Albert Tan was born and raised in the small town of Simunjan, Sarawak. It is a town that is located in the state of Sarawak which is part of Malaysia. Simunjan is on the Malaysian island of Borneo to be exact. It has been his dream to open and run his own restaurant, and be the chef or cook. Malaysia is a Muslim country, so trying to open up a business is very difficult for the native minorities, because Muslims get first priority. So, with Tan facing the challenge of opening up his very own shop in his home country, he decided to take his talents and dreams to America to try and accomplish his own, “American Dream.”
But as many new citizens to America find out, it is not always the easiest goal to accomplish one’s dream. Tan worked in the local restaurant industry becoming a pastry chef, and saving his money. His wife, Geraldine Tan, worked hard as well just so they could save money and open up their own place.
Tan said, “It has always been a dream of mine to open my own restaurant and have a family here.”
Since moving to America in 2000 and to the Atlanta/Marietta area in 2001, the Tans have opened the restaurant George’s Deli in Marietta as well as started a family.