When Chris and Glee Ann Agius took over Paradise Deli in 2013, they focused on adding their own personal touch in two key areas:
The quality of the food, and the happiness of the customers.
Chris started with the food. Based on his 10 years experience working as a deli manager at Publix, he utilized his wide network of purveyors to improve the quality and freshness of their ingredients.
Chris then re-worked the menu based on his 20 years of experience working as a chef at upscale restaurants in both Fort Myers and Sanibel.
As a chef, Chris served several famous celebrities including Madonna, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, and Henry Winkler while working at noted restaurants such as The Mad Hatter and Sunshine Cafe. He became known for his seafood dishes and wine pairings, and so it was no surprise that several tropical-inspired seafood dishes were added to the menu.
This new balance of deli food made with traditional culinary techniques and fresh ingredients immediately made people sit up and take notice.
While Chris was busy experimenting in the kitchen, GleeAnn went to work making the customers feel right at home. With over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, she was perfect for the job.
Acting as house manager, GleeAnn started making sure the food and service was always consistent, day in and day out. She also went the extra mile to find out not only how you enjoyed your meal, but how your kids were doing in school or baseball as well. This personal touch, combined with the improved menu not only brought in new visitors, but also turned many of them into loyal regulars.
The improvements also led to hundreds of glowing reviews online, which only served to motivate and inspire the Paradise team even more.
In 2014, Chris and GleeAnn added a full line of catering items to the menu, including a full range of deli trays, cheese and meat platters, and boxed lunches. The patio was also expanded so that visitors could eat inside or outside.
At Paradise Deli, Chris and GleeAnn Agius have built what they always wanted:
A local, neighborhood place where all the customers are friends.
In many ways, Paradise is an extension of Chris and GleeAnn’s own family. They live just a couple blocks away. Their son Cameron’s school is nearby, and they attend church just down the street.
Today, the focus on quality food and customer experience is still the essence of what drives their success.
Chris loves having an open-air kitchen, so he can chit-chat with the customers and see the satisfaction on their faces.
GleeAnn loves welcoming back regulars like Felicia (Garden Veggie Skillet) and Dr. Michaels (Turkey Reuben) and making regulars and first-timers alike all feel like part of the family.