By Teri Errico Griffis
When lunch time arises, East Bay Deli is packed, providing some of the most quality sandwiches to the Lowcountry. Opening its first doors downtown in 2001, owners Dan Jaicks and Chuck Lee now have multiple locations around the state. They love their home of Charleston, and they love giving back to their neighbors—especially the Charleston Animal Society.
East Bay Deli’s first location opened on East Bay St. on September 11, 2001. Dan Jaicks’ wife, Joanna Jaicks, Office Manager and Director of Marketing, said the day was surreal—both for the country and her family. “I remember it well. We really only planned to open the one store downtown, but it did well so we decided to open another one,” she said. They’ve now grown to nearly 10 locations, including Summerville, Dorchester Rd. and University Blvd. in North Charleston, Mt. Pleasant and West Ashley. There are franchise locations in North Myrtle Beach, Florence and downtown Columbia. And in April another location will open up in Lexington.
Dan Jaicks and Lee’s story begins nearly 30 years ago when started out in the restaurant business. The two were best friends working together at Applebee’s, but always shared a dream of owning their own business. Today they successfully feed the masses in Charleston and despite their growing business will always call the Lowcountry home.
“What’s great about Charleston is you see people you know all the time. It’s growing and yet it seems somewhat small. That’s what we like about it most,” Joanna Jaicks says. And when it comes to friendly faces, she admits East Bay Deli definitely has its regulars they know by name. “We get a lot of regulars!” she admits—and she would know. She, her husband and Lee enjoy making the time to visit every location regularly.
And what is it the loyal customers love the most? Aside from the quality meats, generous portions, exceptional customer service and a clean, inviting atmosphere, Joanna Jaicks believes it just might be their Citadel Sandwich. “That one sells the most just about anywhere. If you’ve never had one you should try it!” Oven roasted turkey and imported ham with honey mustard dressing, crispy bacon, lettuce, and tomato, The Citadel is topped with melted Swiss and cheddar cheeses and served on toasted wheat bread. Add a side of traditional New York Cheesecake and you’re a fan for live.
The Jaicks in turn are fans of Charleston Animal Society, and it’s one of their favorite local organizations to support. “We love animals. We have four cats and a dog, and Chuck has two cats, and all of ours are rescues,” Joanna Jaicks says, noting one cat is from Charleston Animal Society. “We love them because they’re No Kill—which is wonderful. And they do such an excellent job taking care of the animals… Anybody that loves animals is tops in our books!”
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