ROCKINGHAM — Roughly six months before it serves its first sandwich, The Villager Deli is hiring.
The multipurpose building that will house the new downtown restaurant is still under construction, but owner Koley Keel, who operates the original Villager Deli in Pinehurst, said there’s no time like the present to start staffing.
“My goal is to hire local people,” Keel said. “I believe in investing in my team members and the success of the business depends on attracting and keeping good employees for a long time.”
Right now, Keel said he’s interested in hiring 10 people. He needs a local manager and kitchen and wait staff. With 10 to 12 employees, Keel said he could keep the deli open six days a week — but if the new location is the hit he hopes it will be, he’s willing to open on Sundays and double the amount of employees to around 20.
The new team will work with experienced managers from Pinehurst to make sure everything from the menu to the presentation and atmosphere are the same in Rockingham as they are in Moore County. Menu items will include build-your-own gourmet sandwiches along with house specialties like the quiche of the day, a half sandwich with a bowl of soup or pasta salad plates. Desserts like homemade cookies and pecan pie will also be available.
“I want to go ahead and start hiring people,” Keel said. “I have several loyal customers from Rockingham who come to eat here, but other than that, I don’t know a lot of people from Richmond County.”
Keel said the building still has a long way to go before it is ready for the restaurant to move in, but he hopes to open in early 2015.
“There’s a roof,” Keel said. “There’s still a lot of work to do inside the building and on floor three.”
Work was progressing Wednesday as a crew working for Jesse Garmon teamed up with a 60-ton hydraulic truck crane from Superior Cranes of Rockingham to hoist heavy rooftop air conditioning units to the top of the new building.
The Villager Deli has been open for more than 30 years and has acquired a loyal fan base in Moore and surrounding counties. For the last 13 of those years, Keel said he has enjoyed tremendous support from the community as the deli’s most recent owner.
Those interested in applying for a position at The Villager Deli in Rockingham when it opens early next year can stop in at the Pinehurst location at 6 Chinquapin Road or call 910-295-1005.
Reach reporter Melonie Flomer at 910-817-2673 and follow her on Twitter @melonieflomer.