“Our team takes to heart our slogan ‘Serve with Love’ each and every day,” said David and Jeff Barranco of Montgomery-based Chappy’s Deli, a family owned and operated business. Besides David and his son Jeff, other family members in the business include son Ben Barranco, daughter Laura Barranco Feely and Mike Castanza, “a huge part of the Chappy’s Deli family,” David Barranco says.
The Barrancos and Chappy’s Deli are Alabama’s 2021 Gold Retailer of the Year in the Annual Sales More Than $5 Million category. Chappy’s is one of 11 retail businesses being honored by the Alabama Retail Association as Retailers of the Year.
“We are humbled, excited and forever grateful to our team and guests who are the real winners of this award,” David Barranco says in accepting the award. “Thankfully, so many people generously blessed us during these most recent challenging times with seemingly non-stop visits to Chappy’s Deli carhop, take out, delivery and the dining room. We are grateful to God for all.”
Chappy’s Deli offers Southern hospitality with New York flavor for dine-in and take-out breakfast, lunch and dinner at five locations – three in Montgomery and one each in Prattville and Auburn. Chappy’s also caters. Having served customers in the River Region and beyond since 1989, the staff went to extra lengths to overcome a year that was like no other.
“Our outstanding team helped us quickly pivot to a new ‘dining room’ – the parking lot. We called it CarHop,” David Barranco adds about operating in pandemic. “Our team began bringing orders to cars – rain, cold, windy, hot and sunny days. Even when dining rooms partially re-opened, Carhop remained our top sales performer.” This effort was assisted by an online ordering platform that helped facilitate contactless delivery. “Online sales reached record levels,” Barranco added. “For several months, we also waived delivery fees, and the Chappy’s team delivered to our guests’ homes and businesses.”
Anna Buckalew, president and chief executive officer with the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, who nominated David Barranco, says, “His restaurants were among the first to adapt when impacted by COVID-19, implementing safety protocols and creating numbered pick-up stations for cars in his parking lot.”
In addition to great food and great service, the Chappy’s team is also known for its support of local charities, including Hope Inspired Ministries, which trains adults and helps them land a job; That’s My Child, a mentoring program for youth in Chisholm and North Montgomery; and Joy to Life Foundation, which provides free mammograms and other breast cancer screenings to the medically underserved. In addition, Buckalew said, “David hosts an annual fundraiser, Breakfast for Babies, to help with the high rate of babies born premature in Alabama. Breakfast for Babies at Chappy’s has raised more than $400,000 since 2006.” As part of its response to the pandemic, Chappy’s Deli also implemented a matching community donation program, “Food for the Front Lines,” delivering more than $10,000 of food to nurses, doctors and others on the front lines.
The Retailer of the Year judges lauded Chappy’s Deli’s for being community-service driven. “Our Chappy’s team willingly gets behind and supports our community,” Barranco says.
The Alabama Retailer of the Year awards, started in 1999, honor retailers who have demonstrated growth, innovation and a commitment to their respective communities. This year’s winners were selected from 49 entries submitted from a pool of 80 nominees.
“The Barrancos and the entire Chappy’s Deli family are retailers of the year EVERY year to their customers, 268 employees and the Montgomery, Prattville and Auburn communities,” says Alabama Retail Association president Rick Brown.