Santa Maria Sun / Biz Brief
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 23
Spotlight On: Garey Grocery and DeliShawn Rees, owner
BY KRISTIN SEWELL
On the outskirts of the Santa Maria lies the rural town of Garey. Small and quaint, the town’s population stands at just 68 people.
Toward the center of town is the Garey Grocery and Deli. What once might have been a house is now a bustling deli for the farm town. Hanging above the patio dining area is a sign, painted by local resident Bailey Deputy.
The sign reads “In the heart of downtown Garey,” a slogan adopted by the original owners when they first opened the store.
The deli still stands as the unofficial “heart” of the city, serving up one-of-kind sandwiches with a hometown smile.
Owner Shawn Rees bought the business nine years ago after the previous owners decided they didn’t want the deli anymore.
Rees, a mother of two young kids at the time, jumped at the opportunity to take over the deli.
“I always wanted to own my own business, and I got tired of driving to Santa Maria every day,” Rees said. Before taking over at the deli, Rees worked at a doctor’s office in Santa Maria for 23 years.
But what Rees thought would be a slow, fun job where her kids could hang out with her quickly turned into a fast-paced environment with a lot of work to be done; but Rees rose to the challenge.
With a different sandwich of the day for Monday through Friday, guests of the deli won’t be disappointed. Monday’s special is the classic BLT, followed by juicy burgers on Tuesday, and spicy linguica on Wednesday.
But it’s the specials for Thursday and Friday that get customer’s mouths watering and keep Rees’ deli a booming business. Thursday’s barbecue chicken sandwich is a boneless barbecue breast that is filleted and then put on a French roll with a dollop of ranch; the second most popular sandwich at the deli.
Friday’s special is the definite moneymaker. Late every Thursday, the tri-tip is grilled over oak before spending the night marinating in its juices so that it’s ready to go for the 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. lunch rush.
“I’m going through about 100 pounds of tri tip; we sell out after 120 sandwiches,” Rees said. “But I’m told we make a big, good sandwich.”
So good that Rees said she has a gentlemen from Santa Barbara call her every week so that she can set aside three sandwiches for him to pick up.
Although Friday is her busiest day, Rees said the deli is pumping out about 100 sandwiches daily over the course of two hours. Aside from their delicious sandwiches, the deli also has a varied selection of beers to choose from, plus locally made items for sale.
Rees said that even though things can get a little hectic, she loves running the business.
“I get to know a lot of locals, I love the small-town feel and all the workers,” Rees said. “I want them to be happy, make them feel at home; I want them (guest) to come back.”
Rees enjoys being her own boss and making her own hours, and she said that her staff helps make it all possible. Plus, it has always been a great place for her kids to hang out, and since they don’t open until 10 a.m., Rees can help take care of the animals at her home in Tepusquet.
The output for the quaint Garey Deli and Grocery has slowly expanded business over the years, reaching out to vineyard and farm workers, other local companies, or the occasional road-weary traveler.
However, Rees said she doesn’t want to lose sight of the deli’s small town roots.
“I like it the way it is,” Rees said. “The people are perfect and I don’t want to expand.”
Garey Grocery and Deli is located at 3798 Foxen Canyon Road. For more information, call 937-3361.
• Walmart announced the company is beginning the hiring process for 65 employees to man one of its two new Neighborhood Market grocery stores in Santa Maria.
The retailer has started up a temporary hiring center at 2360 S. Bradley Rd. and is accepting applications at the center weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The store, opening this fall at 2240 S. Bradley Rd., will be hiring both full-time and part-time employees in all areas, including supervisory positions, according to a Walmart press release.
Interested applicants can also apply at careers.walmart.com.
Staff Writer Kristina Sewell wrote this week’s Biz Spotlight. Highlights are written and compiled by Staff Writer Jeremy Thomas. Information should be sent to the Sun via fax, e-mail, or mail.
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