A Q&A with Shannon Archibald of Aunt Alyee’s Berd-House Deli
While it’s slightly off the beaten path, Aunt Alyee’s Berd-House Deli is a popular weekday destination for many who flock like birds for its freshly made breakfast and lunch fare.
Located in a former house at 2103 Gambrinus Avenue SW just south of the Route 30 overpass, the Berd-House has a cafeteria-line setup for purchasing food. There’s a fun eating area called the Vinyl Room that’s decorated with vintage album covers, where there’s always classic-rock playing. And in warmer months, there’s also covered outdoor seating. In addition to the eatery, the property also houses a busy catering business.
The Berd-House was opened in 2011 by Bernard “Berd” Kessler, who previously managed Waco Market, in a former duplex property he managed. At first, the property was carryout only; in 2016, it expanded to include sit-down dining. Kessler’s daughter Shannon Archibald, who earned a degree in business and hospitality management from Kent State University, is part owner, deli manager and a cook. A friendly presence behind the Berd-House counter, Archibald was happy to talk about the successful family business.
Q. Can you tell me about the location of the deli and how it brings you lots of regulars?
A. “We’re right off Route 30 and pretty close to Five Points. We’re located roughly across from Marathon Oil Refinery and near Timken. We get lots of Marathon, Timken people, a lot of contractors come in, a lot from UPS and FedEx, a lot of teachers from Perry Local but also a lot of residential people. We average over 100 regulars a day. I’d say 75% of our customers are regulars. I see the same faces twice a week or more.”
Q. Let’s talk about your food, breakfast first.
A. “We open at 6 a.m. for breakfast, and it’s a very simple breakfast. Mostly made-to-order breakfast burritos and croissants, with fresh-baked croissants. We fry our eggs one by one. A lot of contractors breeze in on their way to work. We have more than 20 guys who are regulars.”
Q. I’ve been in for lunch many times, but what can you tell About readers about the food?
A. “We have lunch specials every day for $6.99, which is a main and two sides and a dinner roll for $6.99. Monday is chicken and half-pound burgers, Tuesday is quesadillas and homemade meatball sub, Wednesday is meatloaf and creamed-chicken sandwiches, Thursday is Italian-sausage sandwiches and baked pasta, Friday is Salisbury steak and boneless chicken. Some of our sides are mac ‘n’ cheese, cheesy potatoes, roasted redskins, pasta Alfredo, green beans and cinnamon apples. We have ready-made salads, made-to-order subs, homemade soup. A woman named Elena does our baked goods; cookies and peanut-butter brownies are the biggest sellers.”
Q. For a small place, you employ a lot of people. How many?
A. “There are a lot, and they’re awesome. Not including my mom, Berd and myself, we have eight. We’re constantly busy. Nobody’s ever standing around.”
Q. And the catering business is rolling, too?
A. “It’s crazy right now. We have a wedding for 225 people on Friday, three graduation parties on Saturday and two on Sunday, one with full service. This time of year (mid-June), I’m prepared for it.”
Aunt Alyee’s Berd-House Deli: 2103 Gambrinus Ave. SW, Canton. Hours are 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday. For more information, call 330-479-1671 or visit auntalyeescatering.com.