Groths sells Haley’s Deli to owner of La Vecindad | News, Sports, Jobs

TR PHOTO ROBERT MAHARRY From left are longtime owners of Haley, Stan and Leslie Groth, employee Amanda Mericle, new owner Ramon Gomez and his daughter Elizabeth. The Gomez family already owns nearby La Vecindad grocery store and Tortilleria and are excited to continue Haley’s legacy.

Stan and Leslie Groth have been involved with Haley’s Deli BBQ and Catering (formerly Haley’s Grocery Store) for over 40 years, and recently made the difficult decision to sell the business and move into the next phase of their lives. They can rest assured, however, that the transition will be smooth and that the new owners know a thing or two about preparing good food for hungry customers.

Ramon Gomez, who currently owns neighboring La Vecindad Grocery and Tortilleria on North Third Street, will officially take over Haley’s on October 17, and he plans to keep the same core business with the option to serve the alcohol and add some. Mexican options at some point in the future.

Ownership of the restaurant, which was also a grocery store until 2014 when the Groths ceased that aspect of the business due to increased corporate competition, has been in Leslie Groth’s family since 1952, and she and Stan were the third generation to rule it after her. parents and grandparents — Les and Hazel Haley, the company’s namesakes.

Like most other business owners, especially those in the food industry, the Groths have felt the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and struggled to find supplies and containers — though, as they noted, Gomez was kind enough to help them with containers whenever they needed them. As they searched for someone to buy the store and continue the legacy they helped create, the perfect candidate became apparent.

“I knew Ramon had a little restaurant in his business, and he’s us probably 25 years ago. And I just knew it was a little niche,” Stan said.

Once the conversation started, both parties showed immediate interest. Groth stopped at La Vecindad to buy supplies, presented Gomez with the idea that he had a small restaurant and needed a bigger one with more parking, more room for trucks and the ability to run both businesses side by side.

Stan then cut to the chase and told her that he should consider buying the place. Gomez replied “How much?” Soon after, an agreement was in place and both sides walked away delighted with the outcome.

Gomez, whose daughter Elizabeth translated for him, said he was looking to expand his own portfolio and had big long-term ambitions, but was unsure when Haley’s property might be available. Its main goal is to “give people what they want” and continue to offer all of the homemade St. Louis-style barbecue specialties and sides that made the restaurant so successful in the first place. He would also like to extend hours, add TVs and sell beer at some point, and he plans to acquire the nearby La Vecindad property to the north for a taco truck in the future.

While he wants the classic menu to stay intact, Stan hopes Gomez and his family will bring some of their authentic Mexican favorites to Haley’s as well.

“He’s going to bring a lot of energy to the business, and that’s what it takes,” Stan said.

And as Hispanic-owned businesses continue to grow and prosper in Marshalltown — there are now at least four Mexican grocery stores in the community — Elizabeth hopes people like her and her father can be seen as local leaders in this. movement.

“It’s just, like, bringing more culture into things would be nice. Especially in this area, you see a lot of different faces and different colors, you know? It’s a variety of people, and we all like the food,” she said. “So it brings us together.”

Stan admitted that a few of his most loyal long-time customers had expressed apprehension about the establishment changing hands, but once he explained they could still get comforting specialties like lasagna, ham balls and meatloaf, their worries were allayed. Amanda Mericle, who has worked at Haley for nearly a decade, also remains on board.

“They’re just afraid that this home cooking is going away. (Gomez) is going to make sure it stays,” Stan said.

Handing the business over to Gomez, Stan said, almost feels like another generation of family ownership, and he can’t wait to see what they do with it. While he and Leslie certainly have bittersweet feelings about leaving behind an operation that has been the cornerstone of most of their lives, they knew it was time and they believe they took the right decision.

“I feel great and I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to keep going and work harder,” Gomez said. “Hopefully we’ll give it our all…I just want to keep going up and up.”

Haley’s is located at 501 N. Third Ave.


Contact Robert Maharry at 641-753-6611 ext. 255 or

[email protected]

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