In the heart of Hollis, Queens, Datz Deli stands not only as a haven for culinary delights but a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit and resilience of one man, Joshua Dat, and his family. The story behind the deli’s name and its inception is rooted in family, hard work, and a determination to create something meaningful and lasting.
In less than a year, Datz Deli commemorates a trifecta of milestones, including the grand opening of its second location, a robust financial outlook, and the meteoric rise of its signature creation—the famous DatMacPatty.
A Legacy Carved in Family Ties:
Datz Deli, the thriving family-owned Guyanese business, takes its name from the close-knit Dat family. Joshua Dat, chose to honor his family’s heritage by incorporating their name into the culinary venture. The deli, therefore, became a symbol of not just the flavors it serves but also of the strong familial bonds that have fueled its success.
From Vision to Reality:
Joshua Dat’s journey to becoming a restaurateur was paved with dedication and a deep sense of purpose. Having witnessed firsthand the hard work put in by his family without receiving adequate compensation, Joshua was inspired to take matters into his own hands. He recognized the potential to channel his energy into creating a space where passion for food and business acumen could come together.
“The deli was made because of my dad, I saw how hard he worked and he worked for so many other people and they promised him things and they never fulfilled those promises…and just literally robbing my dad…so he’s the whole reason this can run…so I decided to save my money and get us our store and was like dad let’s do this together and that’s what we ended up doing.”
The DatMacPatty Phenomenon:
At the heart of Datz Deli’s success is the DatMacPatty—a mouthwatering creation that has taken social media by storm. This signature dish combines the homemade Jamaican Beef Patty with a generous serving of Mac and Cheese, topped with a choice of OxTail, Jerk Chicken, Curry Goat, or Curry Chicken. The DatMacPatty sandwiches have become a viral sensation, captivating food enthusiasts and earning acclaim for their innovative fusion of flavors.
Joshua explained that, “One night I just decided to add some mac and cheese to my patty and when I bit it I knew we were going viral because it tasted so good…and it just blew up.”
Turning Criticism into Catalyst
Before Datz Deli became a local hotspot for culinary enthusiasts, Joshua and his family faced the weight of societal judgments. Preconceived notions and stereotypes cast shadows on their aspirations, making it challenging for them to break free from the limitations imposed by unfair perceptions.
Rather than succumbing to the judgments, Joshua and his family turned criticism into a catalyst for change. The skepticism they faced only fueled their determination to prove the naysayers wrong. Datz Deli, therefore, emerged not just as a business venture but as a testament to the power of resilience and the ability to rewrite one’s narrative in the face of adversity. “My mom is the black sheep in her family and my dad is the black sheep in his family so we became black baby sheep and everyone always looked at us like we were nothing but I just looked at how hard-working my dad is and my mom and I just knew that together we could do something big…my mom and dad are divorces now but we still come together to make this run every day.”
Joshua added that he worked diligently and saved his money to invest in the business and he had many stumbling blocks but was able to eventually make their family dream a reality. “It’s just keeping faith…because when we started we were only making like $150 per day but we just kept going even though it was stressful…it’s a blessing because we all stuck together and I guess God looked down and said I know you’ve been working for this with your family for so long so I’ll give you a push.”
Second Location Opens its Doors:
In response to overwhelming community support and an ever-growing fan base, Datz Deli has expanded its reach by inaugurating a second location at 69 Clinton ST, New York, NY. This strategic move allows the deli to cater to an even broader audience while maintaining the same commitment to quality and innovation that has become synonymous with the Datz Deli brand.
Financial Success on the Horizon:
Datz Deli is not only expanding physically but also financially. The business is on a trajectory to reach an impressive revenue milestone of $1.2 million by the close of 2023. This financial accomplishment speaks volumes about the deli’s effective business model, unwavering commitment to excellence, and the loyalty it has garnered from its ever-growing customer base. Reacting to this, Joshua said that, “it’s crazy because coming from nothing and odds being stacked against you your whole life…that’s why I tell everyone don’t give up, keep faith, save your money because one day it could save you. You never know when the opportunity comes and you’ll need it.”
As Datz Deli celebrates its first anniversary and looks ahead to a promising future, locals and visitors alike are invited to savor the unique culinary experiences offered at both locations. Whether it’s the DatMacPatty or another delectable menu item, Datz Deli continues to be a hub of creativity, warmth, and, above all, unparalleled flavor.