In August 2018, Sheimer’s Deli took over the space previously occupied by Bon Appetit at 3110 State Route 10 West. “I did competition barbecue in the past, I like to cook, ribs — it’s what I do best, well cooked, baby back style, and I always said to myself if the opportunity ever comes about I’m gonna open up a deli,” says owner, Mike Hettesheimer. And it did, when the Boonton couple was driving by one afternoon to grab lunch at Bon Appetit, as they frequently did and learned the 25-year-old mainstay had gone out of business. Mike told his wife, Fran Hettesheimer, ‘it won’t be for long.’
One local resident definitely understands why. “Whether it’s off dirt roads in Texas or this place in Kansas City, where one of the best places is actually in a gas station, the ribs were out of this world,” says realtor Jason Cohen, a former traveling salesman. “I would put his ribs right up against those.” A prolific businessman, Mike — who also owns a sign shop and technology company; all started from the ground up, “I sell signs, servers and sandwiches” took it upon himself to do some research and made it happen. “You’re only as good as your last deal. The only person that can predict your future is your workmanship. So it’s up to me to make it successful,” says the Kearny native.
All this was going on under the radar, unbeknownst to his wife, Fran Hettesheimer. “I was completely surprised,” Fran says. “It was three weeks before I had my fourth child.”They ended up gutting the whole place and creating an original space. This was just a natural progression for the Hettesheimers, who love to entertain. “Any reason to have a birthday, a party, celebration, it’s always at our house,” Fran says. “And then he tailgates every single Jets game (at the Meadowlands) and has customers coming in 40 to 80 people tailgates, so we would make all the food for that stuff.” Items like sausage sandwiches, Italian hotdogs, just about anything one can think up or have a craving for.
With their collection of great recipes, they decided to do more. “I started the permits to build a catering kitchen in the basement (of the deli) because I see the potential of this,” Mike says. “I want to build the business. So I’m reinvesting into myself.”