DUMONT, N.J. -- Mike Kormanik envisioned a job working with his hands since he was a young boy.
The one that he eventually landed was beside his father at Denaro’s Deli in Dumont, and is pretty far removed from his interest in automobile mechanics.
“I was always handy with tools and felt that is where my future would be,’’ said Kormanik of Paramus. “I enjoyed working with motors, but owning your own business is one of the best ways to go, especially in this economy."
Mike’s dad, Ivan, bought Denaro’s in 2004 after a long career working in the television industry. The deli first opened in 1962, and has been a staple in Dumont for over 50 years.
Mike joined his father while he was in high school. He went on to get a degree in business management at William Paterson University with an eye toward running the business side of the deli.
“My father wanted a business of his own,’’ Kormanik said. “He enjoyed working with food and just ran with it.”
Kormanik discovered his own passion with the deli as well. Besides making the products, he enjoys the daily association with his customers.
“You deal with all different kinds of people,’’ he said. “You deal with kids from pre-school all the way to senior citizens. They come from all walks of life.”
On Kormanik’s Facebook page, he describes himself as a “sandwich artist.”
“It’s just a passion for food,’’ he said. “We only carry one type of bread, but everything is made from scratch.
"As a family owned deli, we try to deliver only the best to our customers, and we treat our customers like family."
Denaro’s signature sandwich is the Crispy Chicken with Cheese and Bacon. Kormanik said the key to all of the sandwiches, besides the fresh ingredients and Boar’s Head products, is consistency.
“You don’t want to make the sandwich differently every time,’’ Kormanik said. “Everybody has a taste of their own and will add their own toppings. You can get it however you want.”
Denaro’s relies on a local bakery for fresh bread daily. The deli has customers take their sandwiches throughout the world. When someone returns to Dumont they take extra sandwiches with them. "Our sandwiches have traveled to California and as far as Italy and Ireland,'' Kormanik said.
The deli also coined a new phrase, “Sub-stantially Satisfying,” which helps identify its products.
Customers give Denaro’s high marks on Yelp in more than 90 reviews.
“Best sandwiches ever. Every time. Love this place. Such hospitality. Been going here for years and they still know what my order is before I even walk in. I have friends who drive all the way just to get a sandwich,’’ A.B. of Teaneck wrote.
Instagram foodie Matt Savage of Garfield stops in often to snap a picture of the subs (SEE PHOTO ABOVE).
With loyal customers and a job he loves, perhaps the best part of the job for Kormanik is working with his father.
“My father and I always had a great relationship,’’ he said. “We work together great and we’ve become best friends over the years. It’s a bond that can’t be broken.”