Rod Feiner and Ed O'Connor were born in Brooklyn and the Bronx, respectively. They met in grade school after their families had moved to Westchester county, just outside of New York City; a place renown for having a great local deli in every neighborhood. As young men, Rod & Ed would stop by the local deli on their walk to school to pick up a pastrami or turkey sandwich for Lunch; and maybe even a Bacon, Egg & Cheese sandwich for breakfast. This routine followed them through high school.
After graduating college in upstate New York in the early nineties, Rod moved to Boulder, Colorado. Within a month, he observed an obvious omission in Colorado cuisine: No fat Ruebens or Philly Cheese Steaks were readily available as they were throughout the counties inside and surrounding New York City. Seeing an opportunity, Rod sprang to action and called Ed, who had just graduated college in Rhode Island. Rod had a business proposal for Ed.
Rod's proposal was simple: "Let's introduce the concept of a great local Deli in every neighborhood to Colorado." From that phone call The Deli Zone was born. The year was 1993. By the spring of 1994, They were opened for business at 2900 Valmont Road, in the Zarlengo Plaza. The boys enjoyed immediate success, but at no small price. Rod & Ed can recall working so late into the early hours of the morning, that a cat nap on a bed of egg cartons in the storage room for an hour was all their sleep for the whole day. But it was well worth it! Within a year, they had raised enough money to put their plan of a great deli in every neighborhood in Colorado into action. The next stop was on the Hill, across the street from the University of Colorado, where a location had opened up on the corner of 13th & College Ave.
One night, while working into the late hours of the evening on the construction for the store on the Hill, Rod & Ed were approached by Christian Frahm, a born and bred New Yorker from Manhattan. He was looking for work. Having as much restaurant experience as the two had combined, Christian came on board to be the Manager of the new location. It opened in the Fall of 1995 to rave reviews from the students of CU as well as the residence of the Hill.
During the Spring of 1996, a young freshman by the name of Scott Lister came into the Hill store inquiring about employment. From his freshman year to the day he graduated, Scott shined as the brightest, hardest working employee Christian, Rod or Ed had ever seen.
The next few years saw the boys working hard to establish themselves as the best NY-style sub shop in Boulder. Serving close to 500 subs a day, the word soon spread to the delight of many in Colorado.
On January 10th, 2000 a location in Broomfield, on the 287 corridor, became available and the third Deli Zone was born. However, Rod and Ed knew they couldn't increase their work load without key help. They asked their first in line, Christian, if he would like to join in on the plan to put a great deli in every neighborhood in Colorado. With that, Christian Frahm became the proud third owner of the Deli Zone. He is the first employee to work his way into having his own share of the plan - but not the last.
In 2001, Scott Lister got his Bachelors' Degree in Evolutionary Genetics from CU Boulder. He also earned his Masters and Doctorate degrees in Sandwichology during his five years as The Deli Zone's perennial best employee. Thinking BIG, Scott brought the owners a proposal to open another location, but this store would serve as far more then just another deli. The newest Deli Zone would have it's own bakery and commissary. For such insight and future sight, Scott Lister became the 4th owner of the Deli Zone.
In 2002, Rod, Ed, Christian & Scott opened the new Deli Zone in the Meadows shopping center on Baseline & Foothills Parkway.
Behind the visible operation of the Deli Zone exists the ambitious project of Feiner Foods. 24" Parisian bread is baked on a continual basis while other chefs cook fresh Eggplant, Chicken salad and other ingredients for all four locations.
Since then, The Deli Zone has enjoyed continued success. Each year sees an increase in sales, as well as increased accolades from the community.
In 2005, The Deli Zone opened in Longmont and Fort Collins.
The plan continues to proceed as... well...planned.
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