When you walk through the doors of the new Jefferson Street Deli at 203 N. Broome St, you’re greeted by a large wooden sign that reads “Other things may change us, but we start and end with FAMILY”.
After spending some time chatting with co-owner, Chris Wriggle, it’s apparent that this isn’t just a piece of decor, it’s a business mantra.
Wriggle and his dad, Curtis Wriggle, opened the Waxhaw location of the Jefferson Street Deli recently after the rocketing success of their original location in Monroe compelled them to expand. The father-son team have nearly 80 years of culinary and food service industry experience under their collective belts, and it shows.
The Monroe spot, for which the franchise is named, due to its location on Jefferson Street- began to serve its customers about a year and a half ago. When I asked the younger Wriggle what prompted him to go into business with his dad, he responded by telling me what a natural fit it was for the pair.
“We really get along well, we have lots of fun here,” Chris Wriggle said. “The thing I want people to know is that we’re a great family who loves to have fun; me and dad here. He’s a great chef.”
It’s obvious how much the son admires his father, as he repeatedly gives him credit for teaching him much of what he knows about the art of cuisine. You can tell the love of food runs in the family blood, and both Wriggles enjoy the opportunity to explore their creativity by cultivating the menu at Jefferson St Deli.
Inside the food spot, the permanent menu offers a range of well-priced light fare from build-your-own sandwiches and burgers, to salads and chef-suggestions. Chris Wriggle is excited to point out that he has big plans for the daily specials. The one on display on the chalkboard over the register recently is ‘Bolognese Cheese Fries”, a family recipe passed down from Wriggle’s own grandmother. Other upcoming choices will include a fried calamari sub, and salmon selections.
It is the Wriggle team’s intention to eventually offer more intricate sit-down plates during the dinner hour at their Waxhaw location.
If you’re like many, you enjoy a cold brew or a glass of red with your meal. Jefferson Street Deli is proud to offer a selection of beverages to accompany your order that span from several soda choices, to tea, and wine and beer.
When you are finished eating, the prime downtown location of the eatery entices patrons to take a stroll around Waxhaw’s historic district to help digest. Wriggle points out the cellophane-wrapped homemade cookies in the case by the register – the perfect dessert to share on your walk – as he begins to speak about his connection to the town.
The Wriggle men are Union County natives and hold a deep pride in the family-centered culture of Waxhaw and its enthusiasm towards supporting small and locally-owned businesses. Chris takes a moment from our conversation to remark about the amazing growth experienced in the town in the last five years but is enthusiastic to mention how the unique, close-knit culture of the village has been preserved despite the rapid expansion.
You can tell that the family business, rooted deep in love and history, meshes well with the personality of Waxhaw, both past and future. It’s a well-suited bridge between where the town has been and where it’s going.
With this in mind, if you’re looking for a new dining experience that’s as delicious and affordable as it is friendly and “familiar”, Jefferson Street Deli is a must-try. Be sure to say “Hi” and introduce yourself to owners, Curt and Chris Wriggle while you’re there.
After all, the business “starts and ends with FAMILY”, just like the bedroom community it resides in.