Shelly’s Deli has become one of the best and most undervalued restaurants in the Hudson Valley since opening earlier this year.
Located at the corner of Violet Avenue and West Dorsey Lane, Shelly’s Deli is just a short drive from the campus of Marist College. However, not many students have had the privilege of venturing through the deli’s doors. This can easily be attributed to the fact that Shelly’s Deli is still less than one-year old, having first opened its doors in January of this year.
“We opened at a bad time, going into the winter,” said owner of Shelly’s Deli, Ricky Erickson. “People don’t realize how much business in this area relies on the local colleges. When school is in session, business trends up. When school is not in session, business gets pretty quiet.”
Erickson and his girlfriend, Shelly decided to open up their own deli after the two of them had worked together at another deli.
“I love eating food and I love Shelly, so I figured why not combine the two and make our own business out of it,” Erickson said. “It has proved to be a great decision.”
Erickson searched for several months before deciding to locate his new deli in Poughkeepsie.
“This location had the greatest opportunity of everywhere that we checked out,” Erickson said. “The landlord was very generous financially, and with the corner and the street light, it seemed like the perfect spot. We even checked the traffic counts!”
Erickson learned from the his previous experiences working in the food industry when .
“The deli I worked at previously was next to a high school,” Erickson said, “so I knew how successful being near a college could be. Business has doubled since we started, mainly because of how we spread the word to Marist College and Dutchess Community College.”
Avery Decker, a senior at Marist College knew Erickson previously. “Ricky graduated from Yorktown High School with my brother and they were good friends,” Decker said. “I had hung out with Ricky and my brother’s other friends when I was younger, and he reached out to me about the deli.”
Shelly’s Deli came to an area that had a need for good deli place, according to Decker. “There wasn’t really a solid deli up here in Poughkeepsie,” Decker said. “Ricky always has creative new specials, great chicken cutlets, and is willing to a suggest new items. I told Ricky I was in the mood for roast beef and barbeque sauce, and he topped it off and made it a great sandwich.
Word has been spreading about the great food and service, and Shelly’s Deli’s popularity has grown continuously.
“Each time I visit, it seems that more and more people are entering the deli,” said frequent customer Joe Valenza. “I’m sure word of mouth about the good food has attracted new customers. Ricky’s personable attitude, along with the food, keep people coming back.”
One of the most popular sandwiches at Shelly’s Deli is The Vanderbilt.
“The Vanderbilt is my favorite menu item at Shelly’s,” Valenza said. “It is
a wrap with chicken cutlet, melted cheese, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and Chipotle mayo, and it is just great.”
Despite his quick success, Erickson already has plans for the future. “My ultimate goal is to either open up one big Shelly’s Deli as a catering hall and restaurant, or just open up a couple of extra spots,” Erickson said. “I have big dreams for myself. The sky is the limit.”
Having been to Shelly’s Deli many times myself, I can agree that great success is inevitable fore Erickson and his deli. Go check out the selection for yourself!