5 things customers say they’ll miss most about Brown’s Deli in Hamilton

Brown’s Deli will close next week if a buyer cannot be found for the Hamilton storefront.

FIRST REPORT: Owners of Brown’s Deli in Hamilton plan to close store

We stopped by the business Sunday to speak with customers and find out what they’ll miss the most about the business before its scheduled May 24 closing.

Here’s what they said:

1. Fresh lunch meats and cheeses

Brown’s Deli boasts a wide selection of meats, including numerous kinds of turkey loaf and ham, plus more than 70 kinds of cheeses that come to the store via Amish and Mennonite suppliers.

“You can’t find any lunch meat, cheese or anything like that any place around here for (that kind of) quality,” said Angie Shaffer, of Hamilton. “My kids won’t eat salami any place else. Every place else I buy it, they’re like ‘It tastes funny. I don’t like it. It’s too greasy.’ The baloney, it’s the same way. You can’t find baloney that tastes that way. Plus, the Walnut Creek cheeses, the flavors of them? You can’t find it anyplace else.”

“Anything you want, they’ve got it,” said Elizabeth Lane, of Brookville, Ind. “They’ll really be missed.”

2. Having a (cheese) ball

Mary’s Famous Cheese Balls are a fresh, in-house creation of employee Mary Vance and one of the house specialties that were being snapped up fast Sunday.

“It just tastes good,” said Stephanie Lohrey, of Ross Twp., after selecting one to purchase. “It’s got cream cheese and the onions and … you can’t make it at home like that.”

3. Unmatched quality and convenience

While other places might stock their coolers or shelves with inferior products in the hopes of earning easy profits, Brown’s Deli never cuts corners, always seeking to sell or create the tastiest dishes possible, customers said Wayne Gentry, of Hamilton.

“The quality of everything is top shelf,” Gentry said. “I’m here every Sunday to get my lunch meats for the week and my mustard potato salad. I don’t know of any place with this quality.”

4. The selection and convenience

Business for the store’s party trays, soups and sandwiches, remains brisk as does demand for its assortment of Amish-made jams and jellies, soups, noodles and jarred fruits and vegetables.

Tammy Shannon, of Hamilton, said there’s no other place in the city that offers the selection offered at Brown’s Deli.

“I’m over here picking up things I’m not going to be able to get … around here and I like to keep local, support the local businesses,” she said. “I don’t think people realize what we had here.”

5. The customer service and friendly atmosphere

Owner John Brown said “customers come first” at his business, and it shows, said Rick Baker, a former Hamilton resident now living in Oxford.

“They’re just kind and friendly and helpful,” he said. “If you don’t know what you want, they can usually help you figure out what you want. We’ve come here for a long time and we will miss it.”

In addition, “everybody’s friendly,” said Tom Shannon, of Hamilton.

The store is offering a 10 percent discount from May 15 until May 24, a deal that excludes soups, sandwiches and alcohol.

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