Troy shows its love for new eatery

Published 10:22 pm Thursday, August 19, 2010

Troy is showing Momma Goldberg’s Deli more than a little love.

On Thursday, amidst a second-day lunch rush, Keith Schilleci was quick to point out just how much “love.”

“The turnout and sales (from Wednesday) both are opening day records,” said Schilleci, president of Momma G’s Inc., the company which franchises the restaurant. “It’s a very pleasant surprise.”

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Don DeMent, founder of the restaurant, was more succinct: “It’s amazing. I think we had about 700 people come through here (on Wednesday),” he said. “Who would’ve thought in Troy?”

Momma Goldberg’s opened to the public on Wednesday. Housed in a renovated building on the downtown square, the restaurant’s opening had been much anticipated by local patrons.

“It’s exciting,” Schilleci said. “Troy is really a neat place and the community has really come together to support us.”

Schilleci said Jake Messenger, the franchise owner, and his local manager have been very proactive in the community prior to the opening.

“And the community has just welcomed us with open arms,” he said. “We’ve had business leaders, Chamber folks, students and people from the community in here since we opened.”

The opening day record shouldn’t be overlooked. Since starting the franchise portion of the company in 2007, Mama G’s Inc. has opened 13 locations, in places as varied as Columbus, Ga., Birmingham and Mobile. “Troy has been the best,” Schilleci said.

DeMent began the company in 1976 with the original Momma Goldberg’s in Auburn.

With the expansion to franchise locations, Schilleci said the company is poised to continue its growth. The 15th location will open next week in Huntsville. “We’re got three stores in Georgia and a fourth is under contract. We’re looking at sites in Atlanta and we have commitments for Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville (all in Tennessee),” he said.

For now, though, DeMent, Schilleci and Messenger are all just enjoying the Troy experience.

I just want to say a big ‘thank you’ to Troy for the hospitality,” Schilleci said, adding “remember, you gotta have your Momma’s Love.”