Online Store Opening Message

Launch Day is set for September 1, 2019. Willa and I have been working towards this for almost two years. Thank you for your patience, understanding and support during this exciting and challenging time. As you know, closing the Deli was one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do. What you don't know is that it was never my plan. I thought I'd always be there serving you the best food I know how. Because it wasn't my plan, I hadn't really thought about what to do next. 

Being me, there was a lot of soul searching, introspection and self-analysis. I considered what I loved about the Deli and what I didn't love. I looked at what worked well and what didn't. And of course I considered the needs of my family. At the end of that process I decided I didn't immediately want to open another Deli. I also decided I wasn't finished with the deli business. It's in my blood and imprinted on my DNA. 

The question, then, was how do I stay in the deli business without opening another deli? It's worth noting that while I'm enormously proud of the food and service we offer at the Caplansky's Deli location in Pearson International Airport, that location is a franchise. As such, my franchise partners own and manage that restaurant. 

The answer came from you: my Caplansky's Deli peeps. It seems you loved my mustard. So much so that you'd send me hundreds of emails and DMs asking where to find them. What happened to my mustards? The short story is that I decided to stop marketing our four flavours of deli mustard in order to focus on franchise sales. Up until that time, we'd sold a ridiculous amount of mustard but it was a very different business than either the restaurants (including catering, take-out, delivery and the food truck) or franchising. 

The mustard story is cool and I'll post that sooner than later. But, as above, it was more distraction than part of my core business. After closing the doors on College St along with the food truck and given consistent fan mail that persists to today, I decided to back up that truck and head back down Mustard Ave. 

After over a year of mustard recipe development work, I can confidently say that these mustards taste better than ever. All natural, 100% Canadian and simply delicious, the four flavours have been reimagined, repackaged and once this site is live, available here as well as fine food merchants and only the best butcher shops. 

The other thing that popped up was my passion for the media stuff I've done. Funny enough, I never saw the media work as work, per se. It was a side-effect of the deli business. Once the noise and stress of the daily deli grind abated I realized how much I loved connecting with people and telling stories. And it turns out, I come by that honestly. My mother says I've always been a talker. When I was an infant she spent hours cutting out figures from magazines and pasted them on the ceiling above my crib. She says I would jabber on with them and sees that as an early sign of my love of people, conversation and storytelling. 

I'm blogging again. You can expect a podcast and YouTube videos too. I have a lot to say and this is the place I'm going to say it. But it's not all about me. I'm at my best telling stories. Got a story? Want to talk about it? Hopefully as this site develops you'll see and hear others tell their stories and get inspired to get in touch to take your turn at the mic. I promise you'll have fun. 

Last, the notion of gratitude has been an important part of my life for many years. And since I'm sharing, let's start there. First and foremost, I'm grateful for Willa Bradshaw. Marrying Willa in 2017 was the best day of my life. I never imagined that our first two years together would be as challenging and difficult as it's been. Not only does Willa love me like no other (and I her, o/c) she possesses a skill set that I'd be lost without. Willa is patient, kind, thoughtful, brilliant and beautiful. She's also an amazing artist, graphic designer and web developer. That's right: all of this is Willa's doing. 

After her, I'm grateful to you for caring enough about me to read this far. Kidding aside, it's tough to put into words how important your love, caring and support has been to both of us. During my darkest days of wandering in the post-deli desert, you'd let me know how much you loved what I did. Thanks for that. 

And because of that we can now return that last sentence to the present tense. You let me know you love what I do. Thank you. Please check back and let me know how you're doing and what you think of how I'm doing. Got ideas? I want to hear them. Got opinions? Post them. Want to work with me on a mustard event in your town? Let's do it. Seriously, I'm planning the Great Canadian Mustard Tour in 2020. Wait till you see the new Mustard Mobile. 

- Zane