Family opens environmentally responsible deli in Downtown

By Hayley Cargill — Deli Ohio: a simple name with a simple purpose.

“We are all about simplicity with Ohio in mind,” General Manager Ryan Miller said.

Deli Ohio is a deli that tries to be far from the norm. With their simple ingredients, clear purpose and lighthearted atmosphere, they try to please customers by using a simplistic mind set.

This is exactly the impression one gets when eating at Deli Ohio. When walking in, they are greeted by one of the kind and relatable managers.

After growing up in Sugarcreek, Miller moved from state to state. He was eventually drawn back to Ohio.

“I felt that downtown Canton doesn’t have much and the area needed a place where people can spend time with the people that matter to them while also receiving high quality food,” Miller said.

As a strong advocate of supporting Ohio farmers and family businesses, Miller buys all of his produce from local growers and he receives all of his meat from a family butcher he grew up with. Most delis within the Canton area do not have that kind of connection with their suppliers.

“I don’t know about you, but I would much rather have a sliced tomato that was picked today from two miles away than one that has been on a truck for three weeks,” Miller said.

Deli Ohio does not use the typical marketing technique but instead lets word travel through the community. General Manager Seth Lauer of North Cleveland Pizza Oven found out about Deli Ohio this way.

“The fact that all of their ingredients are organic and fresh is what I enjoy about Deli Ohio,” Lauer said. “I also think it is important to give back to small businesses in the community.”

The sandwiches will be what keeps the community coming to Deli Ohio. Options such as the Chicken Salad and Reuben sandwiches as well as the Moroccan Carrot salad turn heads.

“The menu was extremely difficult to create as we wanted to have items that would appeal to people while also putting an adventurous spin on it,” Miller said.

Deli Ohio also distinguishes itself from other delis by the care that is put into every meal. Miller plays a personal hand in the creation of each and every sandwich.

“That chicken salad sandwich I just made right there has mayonnaise that was specially made just for that sandwich,” Miller said.

Atmosphere is important to any deli as it sets the mood for social situations. The mellow music selection follows the likes of Bon Iver and creates a simple, clean and welcoming social environment.

Adding to the clean and simplistic atmosphere is the absence of anything resembling technology, such as televisions or computers.

“We wanted to create a place where distractions do not exist, where people can come in and spend time face to face with the people that are most important to them,” Miller said.

With the hours that Miller works, one might question how he spends time with those most important to him.  
“One night I was up until around 2 a.m. and went back in at 6 a.m.,“ Miller said. “I do this because it is what I love to do every day of my life.”

Deli Ohio has no plans to expand as they just opened their restaurant in July.

“What I am about is leaving a legacy if I decide to leave,” Miller said.

With its distinguishable food choices, organic products and simplistic setup, one might believe that a legacy will be left by Deli Ohio.

[Updated Aug. 7, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]