Josh's Deli received the Mom and Pop Small Business Grant from Miami-Dade county yesterday. The grant, which provides financial assistance to for-profit small businesses, awards different sums to each grantee. The Surfside deli, known for its house-cured meats and homespun eats, was granted $2,500.
"The Mom and Pop grant is given to about forty small businesses -- with under seven employees -- a year. We receive support from Miami-Dade county to fix or improve our business," says owner Joshua Marcus. "The grant helps small spots like mine continue to be part of the community."
Marcus was notified this past March that he would receive the grant. In the past few weeks, he has begun planning new additions to his menu. These include homemade donuts, which are offered on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Donuts are prepared by Marcus and pastry chef Kat Hinds. "We did a lot of experimenting. These are yeast-raised donuts with cream stuffings and glaze," he says.
"We make the dough the day before and give it a slow-rise."
Flavors include Key lime, chicken n' waffles, chocomallow pretzel, amaretto, and Irish cream with butterscotch glaze. Another is the rocher ferrero, a play on the famous chocolate sweet. These are filled with Frangelico cream, and topped with chocolate ganache and candied hazelnuts. Donuts are priced at one for $2.50 and three for $7.
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Marcus also intends to focus more on his bread baking. He already makes bagels in-house. Now he intends to bake specialty breads for his sandwiches, as well as challah and even rye. Cheese-making is also in the works. He started trials on cream cheese and other types of soft cheese.
The Mom and Pop grant gave Joshua Marcus more than just extra cash. It also gave him a boost to expand upon his deli's ethos: a neighborhood place with from-scratch cuisine and an affordable bill of fare.
Follow Emily on Twitter @EmilyCodik.