This Q&A feature helps readers learn more about people working in the Mount Vernon business community. This week’s Q&A profiles Greg Husar, General Manager and Owner, .
With more than 30 homemade breakfast, lunch and dinner options, as well as weekly specials, Sherwood Gourmet is a local deli and gourmet shop that offers a small, in-house dining area, delivery and catering options. The deli features a wide range of gourmet crackers, chips, salsas, olive oils, baked goods, as well as soft serve ice cream and candies. Sherwood Gourmet also offers a selection of domestic and international beer and wines.
A quaint, community-style eatery, Sherwood Gourmet has been in the Mount Vernon community for nearly 22 years. Greg has owned the local deli for eight years now.
Currently residing in Springfield, Greg has lived in Northern Virginia for most of his life. He has three children and two grandchildren.
How did you become interested in your line of work?
I started working in grocery retail back in high school. Then, for the next 33 years, I worked in every possible department, from produce and meat to deli, management and even the night crew. You name it, I did it. Working in these various departments helped provide me with a good base…it helped to teach me the ins and outs of the business. Sherwood Gourmet is like running a little department in a huge grocery store.
How did you get involved with Sherwood Gourmet?
After I retired from the grocery chain business, I decided I was way too young to play golf for the rest of my life, so I started looking for potential businesses to invest in. It was about a year and a half search until I found this opportunity back in 2004. Whenever you make such a large purchase, like buying your own business, you never know how it will turn out. It literally took every cent I had to make it happen…and it’s risky because you just never know in the restaurant business. You just hope it’s all going to work out. So far, I’ve been very happy with how things have turned out.
Talk about the day-to-day operations.
I am definitely there everyday, but I’m lucky enough to have some great people who I can trust and depend on when I can’t be there. They help close the shop each day. I’m typically in the store early each day, from about 6:30 a.m. until late afternoon. I have a total of six employees who help me out throughout the week.
How do you compete with all of the big restaurant chains located on nearby Richmond Highway?
I have to thank the local, regular clientele in our area, they’ve been very supportive over the years. Many of my customers come from the local neighborhoods, schools, medical offices and the hospital. Like many people, they often dread having to get in their cars and drive on Route 1 during their lunch breaks. Having Route 1 so close is actually a blessing for us [the deli] because people don’t want to deal with traffic…they like to stay closer to home or work.
What’s your most popular sandwich?
Definitely the Mount Vernon [turkey, cheddar, apples and vinaigrette on a baguette].
What do you enjoy most about your line of work?
The regular customers who come in everyday. I really enjoy talking to them, visiting, hearing about what’s going on in their lives. I’ve seen so many of their kids grow up over the years. This area has a wonderful, very supportive community. It’s great when you see the regulars you know so well: you see them walk up to the shop, and you can just start making their favorite sandwich before they even walk in the door.
What are your hobbies?
I have a small collection of antique motorcycles. Typically, I am working on them more than I get to ride them.
What type of books do you like to read?
I like Dean Koontz novels.
If you weren’t in this business, what would you be doing?
I think I’d want to be captain of a charter boat. It would be great to take people out fishing all day.