A Delco tour of neighborhood delis lets you experience an Americana that is slowly dying, writes Maria Panaritis for Philadelphia Inquirer.
Delis often die when their founders do. With fast-growing Wawa and supermarkets corporatizing our cold-cut options, mom-and-pops are harder to keep around.
A recent Dietz and Watson delivery tour included Westbrook Market on Springfield Road in Clifton Heights. For 40 years, Joe Poiese, now 61, sits in a metal folding chair by the butcher block at Westbrook Market on Springfield Road in Clifton Heights. He watches customers come in, sit down, and make themselves at home inside this market that’s been open for 78 years.
The meat case at Centrella’s Deli & Italian Market, Brookline Blvd. in Havertown is a cross-section of two generations of deli food. A.J. Loustau bought Centrella’s in 2010 after ditching a life as a college grad with a business degree and a cubicle job.
The motherlode, Farm Fresh Produce at Burmont and Garrett roads in Drexel Hill opened as a produce place 35 years ago but a deli was soon added.
Today, even with a Wawa directly across the street, they are ablaze with business.
Read about all the delis on the tour here.