By Grace Moore
Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli, located in Coffee Cup Fuel Stop (CCFS), opened Wednesday, November 15 and their hours will be 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. every day. Heidi Naples and daughter Jenee Naples-Massey, who is the sitting president of the company, were on hand for a little more than a week to get everything in order and everyone trained before the counter opens.
A couple of weeks ago, CCFS manager Toni Kornemann and lead baker Cathy Fergeson were part of a group who traveled to Denver to see the original family deli in practice before Jenee came up to the store in Moorcroft.
“We’ve been out meeting people in the community and they’re just awesome,” said Heidi. “It kind of reminds me of where I grew up in the country in New Jersey, [New York State].”
“We met Harms Oil family almost two years ago,” said Heidi, “and really worked hard to come up with a partnership that we both believed in and were comfortable with; they’re a family owned business, we’re a family owned business and we really want to be great partners for a long time.”
Jenee smiled as she recalled, “The father of the company happened to stumble into our airport location and tried the food and then we worked together for a couple of years and here we are.”
Jenee shared her family’s belief in family owned businesses.
“The family owned theme is really important to us because we’ve been in business for a long time and it’s always those loyal quality relationships when it’s family owned that’s so important. So to find a family like Harms…these people who work here [in Coffee Cup Fuel Stop] have been here for ten, 11, 12 years, have that community family feel that we know because we’ve lived it our whole lives,” she said. “Developing those relationships was wonderful.”
She added that community is important, “and it’s been really fun to get to know people up here. I’ve had a solid eight days here and I feel like I’m part of the family.”
The women offered a little history of their own. Heidi and her husband moved to Denver from the east coast in 1990, “and realized we missed great deli food from the east coast and there really wasn’t any in Denver, so we started Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli in 1994.”
“We make everything homemade,” Jenee proudly stated. “I’ve been in it my whole life and am incredibly passionate about it. I’ve spent my entire life in the kitchen with my dad, baking bagels with my mom going to do payroll in the bank and I love the industry, I love the food and about six years ago, I had my first child and I wanted to expand further in quality, clean products, no nitrates, no nitrites, grass fed, whole product that comes from family owned farms, not the big processors.”
The company sources from other family owned farmers and ranchers and appreciates the relationships with its partners. No water or saline is pumped into its meat and all bread is made from scratch every day without preservatives.
The deli crew was baking roast Italian peppers and caramelized onions as the baker pulled fresh bread from the ovens to cool on the racks. Jenee explained as the wonderful smells wafted through the area, “When I say from scratch, I don’t mean frozen, it’s flour, salt, sugar, yeast, water and whatever the bread flour it is and it actually mixes in a mixer.”
Heidi added, “We have fresh fruit smoothies with no additives and the food is just high quality, homemade and kind of old fashioned classic deli food. We’re not a sandwich shop, we consider ourselves a real deli. We’re in our 24th year; it’s been a long journey and it’s still family owned.”