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Mid-Week Mugging: It's all homemade at Julia's Famous Deli

Even the name is homemade
mugging Julia's famous deli
Mary Athanasios is owner of Julia's Famous Deli at 510 Bayfield St. across from Georgian Mall. Sue Sgambati/BarreiToday

Mary Athanasios opened Julia's Famous Deli last June and named it after her daughter. 

12-year old Julia is Athanasios' youngest child but also a special child to her family. 

"She's a miracle girl. She had a cyst on her brain and we struggled the first few years when she was born. But now she's alive and she's good," she said, tears welling up in her eyes at the memory. 

The mother of three has been in the restaurant business for twenty years, running a franchise in Barrie's south end.

Now she has her own eatery, her own vision and is thrilled to feed her customers. 

"Ten times better than any other franchise. All homemade food from scratch. You'll never find something better than that," she said, sitting in her bright little cafe on Bayfield Street. 

"I love talking to people.  I love seeing people. I want to be around people and this is where I like. And I like to make food. I like people to enjoy my food. Not just eating because you're hungry.  I want people to walk in and eat my food and say 'Wow. I loved it. I enjoyed it.' Not just eat it."

Almost everything is made in-house, including some breads and Athanasios' specialties -  her homemade turkey and soups.

"Bacon and potato, boursht, which is Russian. Lots of people love it. A very awesome soup is mixed smoke meat with vegetables.  We do lentil soup for vegetarian and vegan."

Gluten free options are also available.

Homemade desserts include baklava, cupcakes, muffins, some cakes and pies. 

"My daughter does amazing cheesecake. She's going to be 13 in a few months. She can run the place. She loves serving customers too. When I come in she pushes me aside and says 'I'll serve the customers.'  She loves people too."

Julia's Famous Deli offers free coffee, the shop's own, blended in Barrie.

It's named after Julia, of course, and they hope to be offering the brand for sale at the deli soon.

The family settled in Barrie from Egypt more than 20 years ago.

Athanasios says it's scary to start your own business but the satisfaction of regular customers is worth the stress.

"Everyone who comes in comes back," she said.  "You can't find food that tastes amazing, homemade, friendly staff. You're not a number. My staff treat people like you are one of us. We expect that from customers. It's a homemade store."

Julia's Famous Deli is located at 510 Bayfield St.



Sue Sgambati

About the Author: Sue Sgambati

Sue has had a 30-year career in journalism working for print, radio and TV. She is a proud member of the Barrie community.
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