First Selectman Ellen Scalettar recently visited Deli Delish And Catering, a new family-owned deli and catering business in Woodbridge’s Selden Plaza. Owners Julie and Rich Gagliardi explained to the First Selectman that, previously, they owned a deli in a neighboring town for 16 years. When they first started that business it was the two of them plus one staff member. The business grew until eventually they had 11 employees. “It just got too big and it became more work. We wanted to go back to where we began,” said Julie.
They had been looking for a small space to run their deli and learned of an opening in Selden Plaza that was the right fit. “We really like this area,” Rich told Scalettar of their move to Woodbridge. “It’s very small business oriented. All the small businesses here support each other.”
The couple has been in the food and customer service industry their entire professional lives. Rich, the chef, started out as a dishwasher as a young teen and worked his way up in the kitchens while learning from some of the best chefs in Connecticut.
Deli Delish has a large regular menu, including hot and cold sandwiches, specialty sandwiches, salads and breakfast items. There are also daily specials and made-from-scratch soups. In the winter Deli Delish will offer three to four soups; in the summer there will be cold soup options such as avocado bisque and pineapple mango gazpacho. The roasted chicken vegetable soup is almost always available because people seek it out when they’re sick, Rich says. Everything is made fresh and on the premises.
Their signature dish is eggplant Parmesan. “Some people even pawn it off as their own,” Rich said. “We don’t mind – we have even put it in a customer’s own dish so they could bring it to a party.”
Another point of pride is customer service. “We try to learn people’s names and what they like to eat. We try to offer specials that reflect what our customers’ desire,” said Julie.
“Woodbridge is a small town and people know each other, so that’s important here,” Scalettar told them.
The deli has a table outside and two tables inside, but most customers take their meals to go. The deli also offers catering.
First Selectman Ellen Scalettar, Richard & Julie Gagliardi