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Back Door Deli new big cheese

SKYLER BELL, Of the Record staff

When Brent Hill decided to move his home from Columbus, Ohio, to Park City in order to open The Back Door Delicatessen with his brother, T.K. Hill, he knew working with family could have its ups and downs.

Brent figured the ups would be great, of course, but that the downs would be outweighed by the fact that he was no longer in Columbus.

"It’s been good," Brent said. "It’s not flat here and the people are, not to say cooler, but more laid back. There are more activities here and it’s just a great place. Plus, my brother and I trust one another, it’s not just a buddy or a partner that you don’t really know. It works out well."

T.K. said there have been squabbles, but that the yelling always turns to smiling. Brent agreed and said that although they don’t constantly see eye to eye, their differing viewpoints and common drive for success helps them put out a superior product.

"I think you get more quality when a business is family-owned," Brent said. "We don’t have mass-produced product, it’s all homemade."

T.K., who opened the first Back Door Deli with his wife, Angelique, said he has enjoyed his move from Wyoming to Utah just as much as Brent enjoyed his move from Ohio.

"We moved down here in 2002 to get out of Jackson," T.K. said. "We live in Salt Lake now, where my wife got a job offer. We had been in Jackson for 10 years and that was enough."

Although Angelique is not as involved with the deli as she was in Jackson, T.K. said she is still a partner, albeit a silent one.

"She has a 5-day-a-week job in Salt Lake City, so she has other things to do." he said. "She makes real money."

T.K. said they started out in the back of a wine shop in Jackson Hole with a back door as the main entrance, and the Back Door Deli was born.

"We kept the name when we moved to Park City because we kept the same signs and the same menu," he said. "We even have people from Jackson stop in and check us out because they remember us."

After T.K. and Angelique moved here four years ago, he managed Mountain Trails Art Gallery, but the call of chicken salad sandwiches and Orange Crush by the bottle was too much. He spoke to his brother and they opened the deli on Aug. 8, with the philosophy of using the best ingredients to create homemade items and giving customers a variety of items to choose from.

"We tried buying stuff that was already made but it was horrible," he said. "It had too much mayo and not enough flavor. Homemade is always better. All of our breads come from Stone Ground Bakery in Salt Lake, and we get the sourdough baguettes from Boudines in San Francisco. Everything else we make ourselves: the chicken salads, tuna salads, pasta salads, et cetera, are made here fresh and we only use the freshest ingredients."

Although they have a selection of meats and cheeses now, he said they intend on expanding so they can sell by the pound.

"We are going to bring in more exotic meats and cheeses to sell by the pound," he said. "In Jackson we had about 50 different kinds of cheese and pate. It’s all really high-end stuff. It’s the variety of what we have to offer. We have 50 different sandwiches on the menu, which is a little bit extreme, but people like what they have to choose from. The high-end ingredients make all 50 choices great."

The price of a sandwich ranges from $6.50 to $8.75, which, T.K. said, is well worth it.

"We don’t skimp. Each sandwich is about one quarter pound of meat, for the basic sandwiches, and more on the multi-meat, bigger ones."

Some of the staples of the Back Door Deli are chicken salad, tuna salad, hot corned beef, hot pastrami and turkey. Of the 50 sandwiches on the menu, 10 are vegetarian and any can be changed to taste.

"You can build and substitute," he said. "If we have it, you can put it on a sandwich or a salad. You can pretty much do whatever. We also offer salads that we make here, like a great cobb salad, a nice Greek salad, Caesar salad, et cetera."

They will also start serving soups as soon as the weather gets cold. T.K. said he plans to use a set-rotating menu with the soups, for instance, Monday will be tomato basil day.

T.K. and Brent also recently purchased a motor scooter so they can make deliveries.

"We offer free delivery in Old Town and out of the Prospector area," T.K. said. "We wanted to offer delivery because sometimes people get caught up at work and they can’t get out, and we want to help them. The locals are our core business, they are our staple. They’re the ones we’ll see again. The tourists are just the icing."

The Back Door Deli is located at 136 Heber Avenue and can be reached at (435) 647-9200. They are closed on Sunday, "Just to have a day off," T.K. said.


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