TROY, NY (11/08/16) — The owner of a popular Troy cafe has opened a new satellite cafe in a downtown office building.
“We already had a lot of customers who worked at the Hedley building,” said Kathleen Leibach, owner of Cafe Deli-icious on the 400 block of River Street alongside Brown’s Brewing Co. and Ryan’s Wake pub. “Now, instead of a walk up the street, we’re just an elevator ride downstairs for them.”
In September, Leibach opened Happy Belly Deli on the first floor of the Hedley Building at the urging of her Deli-icious customers. The move to open a satellite location started in 2011, when workers in the Hedley Building circulated a petition requesting that Leibach buy the lease for the building’s first floor cafe. The timing wasn’t right for her back then, but when the space became available again this year she jumped at the opportunity.
“Our customers are very involved in the goings on at the cafe,” Leibach said of the original location, which opened in August 2003. “Eighty percent of our customers on River Street are regulars. It really starts to feel like family around here.”
Most of the food at Happy Belly Deli is prepped in the kitchen at Cafe Deli-icious, at 413 River St., which is about twice the size of the 700 square foot space in the Hedley Building. Happy Belly has two full-time staff, Cafe Deli-icious has one, and Leibach moves between the two throughout the day.
A NOT-SO-AVERAGE DAY FOR A 2X CAFE OWNER
“It’s been a little crazy at first, but I love the challenge!” said Leibach, who bought the new location on a Friday and opened the next Monday. “I do it all. I might be fixing the plumbing at one location, and then preparing soup at the second, and this is all before eight in the morning.”
The cafe also does catering for large groups, and is known for its homemade chocolate creations.
Leibach, who is originally from Watervliet, made a start in the food industry with a business that she ran out of her home preparing homemade candies and chocolates. Her love and talent for “sweet-making” has definitely translated to the cafe. “I spent an afternoon last week dipping three hundred strawberries in chocolate,” she said.
A Deli-icious menu and catering options can be found online at cafetroy.com
WHAT MAKES DELI-ICIOUS SO DELICIOUS?
Leibach says her customer retention speaks for itself. “It’s a trust thing,” she said. “We are all about quality, and when it comes to food restrictions, food allergies, and even food dislikes, we are honest and flexible with our customers.”
The cafe has also received rave reviews online, with customers applauding their creative sandwich ingredients, and even more creative sandwich names. Some of the more popular sandwiches include The Hot Guy, The Nice Guy and Crazy Girl, and certain sandwiches have even been named after repeat customers like Ken’s Favorite and The Dockmaster.
Beyond delicious and creatively prepared food, Deli-icious has an atmosphere that draws in people. The original cafe is covered with hilarious quotes and plaques that read things like “$5.00 Charge for Whining,” “A Messy Home is a Sign of Good Character,” and reminders to “giggle” and “laugh.” (There are also several clandestine references to the League of Extraordinary Red Heads, such as a flag on the ceiling and stained-glass windows bearing that organization’s symbol. Leibech, a natural red head, is a member of that exclusive group.) This homey feel makes even first time customers feel at home.
“It’s like a bar,” said Leibach of her cafe, with good vibes on tap in the place of alcohol. “People come here to feel better. We’ve got great food, and a tight-knit and friendly staff. That’s what we’re really famous for.”
The cafe and the deli offer similar but different menu items, said Leibach, so customers can visit one location or the other depending on their mood and how much time they have for a break.
Happy Belly Deli – Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Phone: (518) 874-1070
Deli-icious Cafe – Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Phone: (518) 271-8787
FIRST COLUMBIA PRIORITIZES TENANT HAPPINESS & RETENTION
Hedley Park Place, the building where Happy Belly Deli is located, is a nine-story 272,758 square foot historic building overlooking the Hudson River in downtown Troy. It is owned and managed by First Columbia, who is also redeveloping almost a half-mile of waterfront along the Hudson.
The building is now 95 percent occupied with a diverse mixture of educational, healthcare, fortune 500 and high tech tenants that First Columbia has actively recruited to Troy.
“Our tenants made it clear to us that they really wanted Kathleen to run the café in our lobby,” said Victoria Harris, marketing director of First Columbia. “Our company is known throughout the region for going the extra mile to make our tenants happy.”
FOR OFFICE SPACE LEASING
18,678 square feet of office space is still available for lease at Hedley Park Place, with more available in the adjacent Flanigan Square building, also owned and managed by First Columbia.
Recently, First Columbia announced a 20,000 square foot penthouse addition to the building. The addition will add a ninth floor to the total building’s square feet and will offer tenants 360 degree views of the Capital District.
Prospective tenants can learn more about the properties and space available for lease by calling Patricia McGrath at (518) 213-1088.