The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Grinnell community mourns closing of beloved 1854 Deli

Grinnell community mourns closing of beloved 1854 Deli

By Jonathan Gomez

This past Friday, September 6, 1854 Deli closed its business after opening its beloved sandwich shop in the back of Saint’s Rest on Broad Street almost four years ago. Shannon Reding, owner and operator of 1854 Deli, described the decision to close up shop as very tough but necessary for her plans for the future.

“It wasn’t an easy decision at all, mainly because I really enjoyed all the students, parents, and Grinnellians in general that I met over the years,” Reding said. As Reding further explained the joyous memories she has of running the deli, she mentioned “the interactions that I had with the Grinnell College students. The young men and women that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. There’s a lot of people that are the same case but the students, I think, is what I’m really going to miss because I had a lot of regulars that I got to know and we had a lot who graduated last May. That was the first class that was there the whole time. We opened in the November of their first-year so we served them pretty much their whole entire career at Grinnell and we got to know quite a few.”

She also explained how she is looking forward to having the time to focus on her family and kids who are all venturing off into different paths in their lives, and how she doesn’t want to miss it. “At this point in my life I have a son who graduated from college a couple of years ago, who now lives in Phoenix. I have a middle daughter who is a Sophomore at college and my youngest is now a senior in high school,” Reding said.

“So really the decision came down to, I didn’t want to miss things in their lives. I wanted to be able to go see my kids more often and the deli takes a lot of work to run it and keep it operational. Because we did make the soups fresh and you have to make them every day. We had to make sure we always had fresh vegetables and our sandwiches were ready to go. It just was a lot of work and I wanted more flexibility in my life to be able to visit with all my kids. Whether it be visiting with my son in Phoenix, watching my daughter’s soccer games in college or enjoying my youngest’s last year in high school.”

As Students at Grinnell see the 1854 Deli close, Reding says “One of the best experiences I’ve had which made this closing even harder was when this young lady came into the deli shortly after getting back and said ‘Ugh! I’ve been dreaming about this sandwich all summer!’ And that gives me pride in what I did. I won’t miss all the long hours of getting ready but I will miss the smiling wonderful people that I did get to interact with.”

Although there are no set plans for a new sandwich place yet, Reding explained, “There will definitely be other people who are interested and excited to explore what they can do with the space and it’s very important because it’s a needed space that complements the coffee shop very well.”

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