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Down home deli keeps students wanting more
Who can forget that episode of Seinfeld where Kramer buys a deli carver so he can make his own sandwiches whenever he wants? Owning that machine would be heaven for a college student, as long as it doesn’t break like the one in the Seinfeld episode did.
Ray George, owner of Ray & Mike’s Deli & Dairy, probably knows more about deli carver’s than he would care to, and thanks to him, no Quinnipiac student ever has to worry about replacing a broken blade on their deli cutter. George founded and has owned Ray & Mike’s Deli & Dairy for over eight years, and QU students line up daily to taste what George puts out.
“People like something different,” George, 39 of Hamden, said. He believes this is why his deli is so popular among QU students.
Many people believe it is a staple of life at Quinnipiac. Anyone who sees another student walking down dorm road carrying a white plastic bag containing a long, round object shaped like an army submarine and overflowing with napkins and plastic utensils knows just where that student has come from.
From providing boxes of sandwiches for athletic teams going on road trips, to the sophomore who drove 50 mph to get there before the grill turns off at 9 p.m., QU students know about Ray & Mike’s.
“We’ve been going to Ray & Mike’s for four years,” Daniel Bogart, a senior physical therapy major, said.
Now working as a member of the Ray & Mike’s staff, Bogart believes that it is the atmosphere of the deli that keeps QU students coming back.
“Ray and everybody are always nice when you’re ordering,” Bogart said. “It also helps that the food is really good.”
Sean Powers, a senior business management major agrees with Bogart.
“It’s relatively inexpensive and it’s better than the food at school,” Powers, said. “You feel comfortable when you go in there. It’s a friendly place.”
While he currently has a father and sister on his pay role, George treats everybody like he has known them for his whole life.
“I try to make it as if we’re all family here,” George said. “It’s a warm environment and everybody gets along.”
George started working at the family-owned Grow Mart Deli in Milford in his early teens. After his parents sold the deli and moved to Florida, George and his brother Mike bought the current location in 1997. After adding a grill they were quickly able to increase their lunch-time traffic.
Having owned the deli by himself for the past three years, George believes that stability is a key to his success.
“We make the same sub here we did eight years ago,” said George. “We’ve got consistency. I wouldn’t try to do anything different.”