Like many of you, I tend to become very introspective during the Holiday Season. This year, in addition to the usual events that cause me to look at my life and the impact I may have upon others, I was able to share in a whirlwind of events with my Jason’s Deli family.
Guest contributer: Joe Tortorice Jr., Founder of Jason's Deli
I am often reminded of the words of our Creator, as spoken through the biblical passage of John 15:16. “You did not choose me. Rather, I chose you to go out and bear fruit. Fruit that will last.”
Over the past forty years, I have discovered that my definition of “bearing fruit” has grown in depth and breadth to more fully reflect the meaning of life.
Like many of you, we were deeply saddened by the loss of a true American original, Arnold Palmer. He was an inspiration to many, including our original owners - Joe Tortorice Jr. and Rusty Coco. They were business partners and avid golfers as well as cousins who grew up watching “The King” burst onto the scene in the 1950s popularizing golf on TV. Their fathers, “Big Joe” Tortorice Sr. and V.J. Coco, avid golfers themselves, pointed Arnie out to Joe and Rusty as a role model, admired and connected with his “everyman” mannerisms, his authenticity and unconventional processes.
I have worked for Jason’s Deli for 20 years in several departments and have gone from a single, young(ish) lady to a married mom with 2 kids! The one “job” that I feel has had the biggest impact on me and my family is that of Nutrition Specialist. I have been blessed to work closely with our Research and Development team for the past 15 years.
For years, you, our raving fans, have enjoyed the incredible variety we offer to you and your families. While we sell absolutely staggering amounts of what I consider to be the best Salad Bar in the industry, we are a deli. Delis - whether they be Kosher, Italian, Eastern European, Hybrids like one of my favorites: Zingerman’s, Grocery Stores, etc. - all have a few things in common, freshly sliced meats and sandwiches.
I love seeing the faces of the people with whom I am conversing when I tell them that I have, indeed, worked at Jason’s Deli for 22 years. Most people are in utter disbelief because, in this age of looking for greener grass, tech-heavy opportunities in my hometown of Austin or the allure of cashing out early after the sale of a startup, the average tenure at a private company seems to be about 3 years. Personally, I am not driven by any of those things. I want to wake up every morning and make a difference.