Charlie (L) and John (R) Schroeder. Photos by Jason Huynh.
On Sunday January 20, Romans, friends, and other countrymen and women gathered to celebrate the retirement of John Schroeder and the impact he and his successful career has had on the community. The party was full of joy, cheer, and a delicious buffet provided by Schroeder’s New Deli in downtown Rome, Georgia.
It will be 38 years this February since John and his older brother, Charlie, decided to go into business together and open Schroeder’s New Deli on the 400 block of Broad Street. At the time, there were only six restaurants downtown, and many people advised the brothers against setting up business there. In fact, the first bank they talked to about a loan turned them down. Thankfully, the next bank “never asked me what I wanted the money for…I walked out with a check for $8,500, and that’s what we used to start it,” said Charlie.
Since the opening in 1981, the brothers have doubled the size of their store, added another co-franchised location, and hired almost 1000 employees through the years. What has stayed consistent though is the company’s “customer-first” attitude and delicious food, with staples such as their “Roast Beef Relief” or “Pita Tosh.
Charlie joked that while he is the “bean counter” (the accountant) in the business, John has always been the “bean cooker” and “mad scientist” when it came to creating signature dishes. “Well I’m the madly happy scientist ,” laughed John, who said he will continue to create dishes despite his formal retirement. He also said that he still plans to be a regular face in the shop.
“Honestly, I’ve never gotten tired of eating here,” smiled John. “No brags, just facts.”
And at the retirement party, it seemed that many of the Rome community feel the same way. So for everything; thank you, Mr. Schroeder.