June 20, 2020
“I never wanted to close the doors, and I wanted to alleviate the helplessness.”
Mark and Michelle Claussen, owners of The Deli & Company in Saco, have been essential to keeping many people and families fed during these uncertain times. The husband and wife team knew there was no playbook, so they started to make their own.
Hearing that their customers wanted to help those on the frontlines but uncertain of how they could assist, The Deli & Company decided to become the “middle people,” or facilitators of getting healthy meals to those on the frontlines. Offering assistance was something Mark and Michelle soon recognized they couldn’t do alone, as the economic demands in addition to the slow down in their business were making it virtually impossible to continue helping on their own.
However, they were determined to find a solution. They began seeking sponsorships for ready-to-eat healthy meals for delivery directly to health care providers and first responders in the communities they serve. Businesses and customers started making donations, and the program took off. The community wanted to show they care and offer support.
“Adapting to new normals is something we were all facing collectively as a community,” said Mark. “I never wanted to close the doors and I wanted to alleviate the helplessness, so when we identified the needs of our customers, we knew we could deliver the assistance they were seeking. It’s been incredible watching the communities pull together, make modifications and persevere through the challenges.” Not only did offering this program help keep the doors open, but by creating and delivering healthy full meals, Mark empowered his customers.
Mark and Michelle witnessed the first sense of “normalcy” when after much anticipation, they were able to open their doors for indoor and outdoor dining. “We modified our hours, modified our business model to adhere to the new guidelines and operated with half the staff,” Mark said, “and we did what we do in half the time. We saw a ‘normal’ day. The kind of day where you look at your watch and think, wow that was crazy how is it 3 o’clock already?!”
To learn more about The Deli & Company or how you can sponsor a meal, visit: https://www.thedeliandco.com/