Erik’s DeliCafe


Erik’s DeliCafe opened their first delicatessen at King’s Village Shopping Center in 1973. Over the years the business has grown and is well know in Northern California and beyond for their terrific and tasty food. We are proud to have worked with Erik’s DeliCafe for the past 37 years and look forward to many more years of success from Erik’s DeliCafe.

A word from Erik:

On behalf of everyone at Erik’s DeliCafé, I’d like to welcome you. We’ve come a long way since the first DeliCafé opened in Scotts Valley in 1973. There has been a lot of Spaces growth and change over the past Christmas years. Our Behind keys to on success still prevail: A warm atmosphere, fast & friendly service, and quality food. All of our slow-simmered soups, fresh salads, and bakery goods Kings are made from scratch using Erik’s family recipes and only the freshest ingredients. Our ????? sandwiches are made with the same high quality meats, cheeses cheap mlb jerseys and pleasurable. Here’s to your health! 

A Family Affair

After receiving a Bachelors of Science degree in Business and Marketing from the University of Oregon in 1968, Erik Johnson, born in Oakland and raised on the Monterey Peninsula, moved to San Francisco and began working as a cost accountant. In February, 1969, Johnson went on a six month backpacking trip that took him across Europe and North Africa. Upon his return, Johnson worked as a security officer, a cook and food server at a small burger and shake restaurant and as an accountant. In January, 1971, Johnson relocated to Santa Cruz and ventured into real estate. As it became clear that he was not suited to be a realtor, Johnson began to have ambitions of opening his own business. In September, 1973, after making unsuccessful bids on a health food store, ice cream shop and doughnut shop, Johnson purchased a 600 square foot location in Scotts Valley for $429. Borrowing the amount from his father, Johnson signed a note to cover equipment costs and took over the lease of the former Tartan Bakery. Lacking experience in the restaurant industry, Johnson quickly enlisted the help of his family. Ray Johnson, Erik’s Father, created homemade soups, his mother, Dolores, and his sister, Laurel, made deli salads and baked goods while his brother, Chris, an attorney, handled the lease negotiations. Judy, Johnson’s wife-to-be, worked behind the counter and helped with personnel, hiring, training and catering. Even Johnson’s brother-in-law, Rick, chipped in with his carpentry skills. In the following year the neighboring TV store closed and Johnson was able to expand Erik’s Deli to 1800 square feet.

The Growth Begins

By June, 1976 Erik’s Deli had made enough profits to open a second deli in Capitola. Carrying the name Erik’s DeliCafé, locations in Aptos, Santa Cruz and Los Gatos followed shortly thereafter. Unwilling to sacrifice his standards of quality for growth, in February of 1977 Johnson rented and later purchased a warehouse in the Harvey West Park area of Santa Cruz. Johnson designed the location to house a commercial kitchen and later the corporate offices. To this day, all of Erik’s fresh soups, salads, dinner entrees and baked goods are still prepared from Erik’s original family recipes, enabling the DeliCafés to serve products that are made from scratch and contain no preservatives. As the demand for more DeliCafés grew, the Cupertino DeliCafé became the first franchise in April, 1986. Today, Erik’s boasts 27 DeliCafés!. Of the current 27 locations, two are corporately owned and 25 are franchised. Johnson attributes the success of Erik’s DeliCafé to four values that are maintained at all levels of the company: Consistency, Quality, Service and Integrity.

                                                                                                               A Commitment to Excellence

The commitment to these values has directly resulted in producing award-winning soups and sandwiches. In 1999, the Metro Santa Cruz presented Erik’s DeliCafé with their “Gold Award” for Best Soup and “Silver Award” for Best DeliCafé and Best Sandwich. Other honors bestowed on Erik’s DeliCafé have included the Entertainment’s Member’ choice Award for Favorite Deli in 1997, Metro Santa Clara’s opens! Readers’ Choice Award for Best Deli in 1991, the Good Times’ Best wholesale nba jerseys Deli Sandwich award in 1989, 1990 and 1991, as well cheap nba jerseys as numerous Recent others. Likewise, Erik’s DeliCafé was named Restaurant of the Year by the California Restaurant Association, Santa Cruz Area Chapter in 1989 and Business of the Year by the Aptos Chamber of Commerce in 1990. Johnson has even been presented with a Congressional Award, signed by Leon E. Panetta for Liv2 his “outstanding contribution to the community, the state and the nation”.

A Commitment to the Community

Erik’s DeliCafé is committed to community involvement, sponsoring various events over the years which have including the World Flying disc Championships with the Pot Belly sandwich event (which in 1984 reached the record breaking length of 300 feet!), the Natural High Coloring Contest, the Name Your Sandwich Contest, and the Adopt-a-School Program. The company also sponsors the Santa Cruz High School Dad’s Club Basketball Tournament, major events at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center, various children’s sports leagues, as well as other local charities, arts and business organizations.

A Bright and Growing Future

Watch for more Erik’s DeliCafés in the future, as Erik’s continues to add new locations. If you are interested in owning your own Erik’s DeliCafé, see our Franchise Information.


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