City folk live in an isolated existence. Most of what they know is limited to where they live; their block, route or routine. Some think country folk “cling to their religion and guns”. Thank you for noticing President Obama, but we do, and like it that way. However, in Johnston County North Carolina we also cling to country living and our Deli.
Take a drive down N.C. highway 39 a few miles south of Zebulon and you will pass a brick country store by the name of Creech’s Deli and Market. To the locals it’s called “The Deli”. The building itself is over seventy years old, or older. In April 2004 Bill and Melissa Galarneau opened for business.
Bill, originally from the Hudson Valley area of New York State showed he possessed the personality and stamina for country living and doing business. He’s not a soft city boy. Born and raised in New York State his parent introduced him to hard work at an early age and their teachings stuck with him. As a result, he was prepared for a little tougher living in rural Johnston County, North Carolina.
Bill and Melissa made Creech’s Deli and Market, “The Deli”, a comfortable and pleasant place to stop, shop or just have a hot dog, or roast beef on rye. They are friendly people with an eye for detail and a very good sense of humor. Most of their customers are like family and treat Bill and Melissa the same.
Any traveler stopping by will be tempted to delay their journey for a spell and take in all the deli has to offer. No one will be surprised if your stop and stare at the face of an old man carved into a chunk of wood. Concerned about your weight, step up on the old grain scale – it’s pretty close to right. Pulling up a chair and staying a while is normal. If that is not what you had in mind, go outside and take a seat in the shade. The food is yours; eat it where you like. No one will mind – as long as you brought your good manners with you.
For Bill, Melissa and their kids the store is like their home. To Quote Bill, “The store is my home. Treat my house with respect.” That was not a casual statement. For those who don’t know, if you’re caught disrespecting the store or anyone in it; you will be asked to leave. It’s his business - can you blame him.
Of the mix of customers coming and going through “The Deli” door, many are related to each other. This contributes to the feeling of community and family. Bill has said nearly half of his customers are over the age of fifty and appreciate the respect shown them and required in his store.
Discussions and conversations flow comfortably and a bit of “horse trading” goes on between customers and Bill over coffee or soda and a sandwich. Even though it’s a deli, it is also an unofficial meeting place. Bill and Melissa like it that way.
They understand and appreciate the conservative attitudes as well as the inviting feeling their customers offer. They understand service and know it is as important in a community as religion, dollars, business and politics. At “The Deli” you can find good food, good cold drinks and good people. Come on by, order a sandwich or hot dog and sit awhile. You know you can find the time.