On Friday our two display deli cases arrived in Easton, they came in their own truck all the way from Tennessee.  They were custom built as one 12′ unit by the fantastic Southern Store Fixtures Company.  I specifically chose Southern for several reasons; they’re American, they make beautiful cases, and they’re easy to service.  Up in New York I worked with Arneg cases and there was always a problem– they were leaking water, they froze, and their supports inside broke.  Arneg is more sexy but Southern is better in my eyes (*Three year update:  not a problem with them ever!).

Getting the beauty off the delivery truck and into the store was a scary process to watch but the case is safe and sound now.  In the first picture, the case is being moved off the delivery truck on the right, onto a rollback tow truck.  This was done on a slope so the case moved off the delivery truck just fine, but was a little stubborn about stopping once it made it to the tow truck bed…

p1010378In this picture, the roll back tow truck is lowering its bed down in front of the store.  The two brick column supports were about one inch wider than the ramp!  Once the flat bed was lowered to the ground the case was rolled down.  The angle of the ramp was relatively steep compared to the length of the case so the back end of the case had to be lifted by hand to clear the ramp.  That was when we discovered that the dollys were not bolted to the case.  One guy was stuck holding up the case with his back while they others rolled the case forward a bit and repositioned the dolly!  That was frightening for everyone.  Now the case is safe and sound.  Stay tuned for the unveiling! p1010379


When I quit my job working for someone else (the Bedford Cheese Shop) and started working on this store full time I focused on choosing the equipment for the store.  For this kind of store that includes display refrigerators and storage refrigerators, sinks and their drains.  I was looking for things that were sturdy and looked pretty because aesthetics are hugely important in a specialty store.  

I started with the display refrigerators.  I knew that the Arneg brand from Italy was gorgeous but they break a lot.  At Bedford, ours leaked water repeatedly, the coils froze, the supports collapsed, and they didn’t keep the temperature very even.  I found the Federal brand’s market series to be in line with my aesthetic and I asked the fish guy at Grand Central how his have held up for him.  He said that he has had no trouble in ten years.  Sounds great but I knew that they were not the best.  Our architect recommended that I check out the Southern Fixtures brand from Alabama.  They make custom “store fixtures” which was a new term to me.  Hugh told me that the Grand Central Murray’s uses that brand.  Here it is:

The front glass is flat and it seems sturdy.  We’re going to go for them.  We are getting one 8 ft. case and one corner case.  


The other refrigeration units we need:

 A single unit glass door refrigerator (for drinks and butters),









A matching single unit glass door freezer (for frozen sauces, pastas and gelati),









A single unit under counter glass door refrigerator (for meats and cheese storage in the front of the house),










A 27″ wide sandwich prep unit (where you keep your toppings for sandwiches),










A two unit solid door refrigerator, back of house,

A single unit solid door freezer, back of house (backstock frozen food plus par-baked breads).


       All of this equipment we are getting from the TR series made by True.  I looked at the Hoshizaki refrigerators for the sales area because they are more beautiful than the True models.  But the TR series is the top line from True and they are one of the biggest producers in the business.  Read: repairmen should know how to fix them.  I liked the Hoshizaki equipment but they don’t make freezers with glass doors so I didn’t end up ordering them.  Apparently they are really durable and very reliable, I was told that Burger King uses them.  When I was at a Cinnabon on the New Jersey Turnpike the other day, I noticed that they had Hoshizaki equipment in the back!  Maybe it’s good that we picked something different…


The other equipment we need:

Two scales with calculators and printers,

Two heavy-duty slicers (Univex was recommended to me as a machine powerful enough for slicing cheese),

A half size convection oven for finishing par-baked bread (there aren’t many European style bakers around here!),







One panini press with two pressing grills,









Two hand sinks,

One three basin sink,

One mop sink,

One food processor (for making our own spreads out of olives or pre-roasted vegetables).


Yesterday I called Sandy from Restaurant Equipment in Cambridge, MD to let her know that we need to order the Southern Fixtures ASAP.  The Southern cases take about 8-10 weeks to be built which is about how long our construction is going to take.  The True stuff should take about 4-6 weeks to arrive and the sinks and scales can be ready in one or two weeks.