Coral Bay residents no longer have to drive all the way to Cruz Bay for a deli thanks to Tim Cummins and Peg Yolman who opened Big Belly Deli in the Cocoloba plaza on November 12.
The restaurant business is nothing new for Cummins. He spent 12 years with T.G.I. Friday’s as general manager running both the back of the house and front of the house before putting in another 11 years running Hard Rock Cafes from Florida to Eastern Europe.
Now the New Jersey native is working for himself and sharing some hometown favorites.
“We just got our first shipment of Taylor’s Ham in and we are the sole distributor on the island,” said Cummins. “Everyone from New Jersey knows what that is, but other people are trying it and liking it too. A Taylor’s Ham, egg and cheese sandwich in the morning — forgetaboutit.”
Homage To Home
Even the name of the deli is an homage to Cummins’ childhood in Midland Park, NJ.
“Remember the guys behind the deli counters in Jersey?” he asked. “That’s how we came up with the name.”
In addition to the quintessential Garden State pork roll, Cummins serves up a variety of breakfast sandwiches and wraps from 7 to 11 a.m. daily for between $4 and $6.
Lunch offerings, available for between $6 and $9, include a slew of cold sandwiches — from mortadella to liverwurst — and fresh salads and wraps. Hot sandwiches like reubens and pastrami are available and the house specialities, Italian sausage and home-made meatball subs, should not be missed.
Dinner starts around 4 p.m. and there are two specials nightly, anything from ribs to fried chicken, which average around $10 to $15. Cummins also offers a variety of party platters and sells meats and cheeses by the pound.
Round that off with a fresh soup whipped up daily and Big Belly Deli offers something for everyone — which is the point.
“I moved here six months ago from Moscow and when I first arrived I was always looking for somewhere to grab a quick bite and there really wasn’t anywhere,” said Cummins. “Everything here is so expensive. You should be able to grab a sandwich for a good price and get some value out of it.”
The space on the second floor of Cocoloba opened up and the timing was perfect, Cummins explained.
“I thought this would be a great place for a deli and then the space became available,” he said. “It was perfect.”
The deli owner has no misgivings about from where his bread and butter come.
“Ninety-five percent of our business is local,” Cummins said. “That is who we geared our prices toward. That makes me really happy.”
Cummins’ business partner is his sister Yolman who helps him behind the counter three days a week.
“I love my sister,” said Cummins. “We’re the middle of five kids so we’ve stuck together for a while. It’s great working with her.”
While the daily 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. hours don’t bother him, Cummins is concerned about one thing — his waistline.
“I’m working for myself so the hours don’t really bother me,” said the deli owner. “But I don’t want people calling me ‘Big Belly,’ so I have to watch it. Working all the time is a great way to stay active.”
“If you want to lose weight, open a deli,” Cummins added. “I love what I do.”
If recent reviews are any indication, Coral Bay residents love what Cummins does too.
“This is a great thing to have out here,” said Patrick Neid. “It’s affordable great food and good portions. It really adds to the neighborhood.”
Barbara Horan, who works at Big Fish and Little Fish in the Cocoloba complex, eats at Big Belly Deli a lot and hasn’t had a bad experience.
“I eat here every time I work here,” said Horan. “The food is excellent and the service is exceptional. I love it.”
Gigi Doherty gave Big Belly Deli’s reuben sandwiches two enthusiastic thumbs up as well.
Big Belly Deli is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Call 779-4342 for dinner specials or to pre-order for even faster pick-up service.