Deli Tries To Keep Its Family Feeling

Houston Chronicle:
At a time when the economy is putting pressure on some small businesses to cut back on expansion, Jason’s Deli seems to have found a way to keep growing.

In 32 years, the chain went from a single deli in Beaumont to almost 200 stores nationwide.

“My goals in the beginning were to be in business for myself,” said Joe Tortorice, owner and one of the four founders of Jason’s Deli.

“It wasn’t on my horizon to grow this thing to the magnitude that we’ve grown it.”

By next year, the Beaumont-based chain hopes to open delis in cities such as Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. – this despite a perfect economic storm, said Daniel Helfman, its director of e-marketing and public relations.

“Prices are increasing, fuel is up, which puts pressure on consumers and small businesses because of shipments, and consumers are dealing with a dent in their pocketbooks,” said Helfman, adding that revenue grew 18 percent between 2005 through 2007, and, if all goes well, total revenue could hit $500 million before the year’s end.

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