SARATOGA SRPINGS — Fat Paulie’s Deli in Saratoga Springs opened when COVID-19 struck the community, but co-owners Jason Friedman and Jo-Anne Lant have embraced the restrictions with open arms.
Friedman opened Fat Paulie’s in November 2019, as a tribute to the old school local delis he grew up with in the neighborhoods on Long Island. Everything the deli offers is made in-house, including deli salads, soups, sauces and now groceries.
“It’s slightly difficult to grow the business now, with everything that’s going on, but overall things are great. We have a lot of regular customers and we have actually grown the business a little bit even during this crazy time,” Friedman said.
The deli prides itself on locally sourced and grown products. In addition to everything made in-house, fresh bread is delivered from Anthony & Sons Italian Bakery. Lant teamed up with Friedman this past February, growing the business through her contacts and friends.
“Through the connections we both know, I already feel that Paulie’s has fans. I feel we need to gain new fans and let them know we’re here and we’re open for them,” Lant said.
Customers are currently not permitted inside the deli, but they are accepting online and phone orders as well as offering curbside pickup and free delivery.
“We have increased our delivery area so we are able to reach more people and we will deliver grocery items too. People can order sliced deli and sandwich meats with toilet paper or hand sanitizer. We do it all,” Freidman said.
Jo-Anne added: “People like that we’re one stop shopping. We do no contact delivery, so people feel safer. Even the curbside pickup, people can pop their trunk and we will place the items in.”
Friedman noted that their business model was designed as a delivery and take-out place originally, making it a smoother transition to fit social restrictions. The shop is located at 92 Congress Street.
“It was an easier transition for us than it is for some of these sit down restaurants who had to completely change their business models. I know it was difficult for some of them to do it,” Friedman said. “But just try us out. We really focus on where we are sourcing our ingredients and sourcing all these ingredients the right way.”