Kathy's Deli

Kathy Pugh’s passion for food lead her to open -- and later expand -- her own business. She originally opened Kathy’s Deli with husband Glenn on King Street in November 2002. “All my children had recently graduated from college and I thought that we were stable enough to take the chance,” she said.

Kathy first started working in the food industry more than 20 years ago at Cressler’s, a family owned grocery store, working initially in the deli department and then running catering operations. She consistently received positive feedback from family and friends after experiencing her food. Today, Kathy’s Deli menu consists of sandwiches, soups, panini’s, and other daily specials. Homemade pasta salads, quiches and deserts are what set Kathy’s Deli apart from other eateries in the area.

Steady business gave way to the opportunity to consider a sit-down place for customers to eat. Unsure about the new risk she was going to take, Kathy contacted the Shippensburg University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for guidance. The SBDC helped Kathy with budgeting the construction and marketing. The center also assisted with the setup of the kitchen and front registers so operations could flow easier.

“As a small business owner we have to wear many hats in regards to being able to perform many tasks that might be outside of our expertise," said Kathy. "I specialize in food and service, so having the SBDC help me in finance, marketing and set up gave me the ability to improve my business.”

The couple risked their savings in 2008 to expand the restaurant, taking over the hair salon next door. Then the economy bottomed out.

Still, sales at Kathy’s Deli are stable and they are able to serve a wide variety of customers. Business comes from the town of Shippensburg and from the Volvo Construction Equipment plant down the street, which is set to expand. A large part of Kathy’s business is from catering. She has done many events in the Cumberland County area that include weddings, town events, family reunions and much more. Kathy does everything from fancy events to outside picnics. The versatility of her menu and decorations gives her the ability to create memorable events.

The expansion increased the amount of customers that come in each day. Many utilize the new seating area and feedback about it has been positive. "We were just there for lunch on Friday and the place was packed and every seat was taken," one local reports. The amount of workers has grown and people from the community, Shippensburg University and the surrounding high schools are employed there.

Kathy has since begun working with the SBDC's Environmental Management Assistance Program. “I’d like some help on an energy audit, it helps the environment and decreases monthly bills,” said Pugh. Kathy has her hands full, but is always thinking of ways to better her business.