It was a week for Drip Café owner Greg Vogeley. On Monday, USA Today declared The Cali to be the Best Breakfast Sandwich in Delaware. On Wednesday, Drip won the Grilled Cheese Battle at The Queen. And on Friday, Greg signed the papers to open another Drip Café, his third location … this time, on Market.
If you loved the Cali when it was available in Greg’s former food truck, The Brunch Box, you’ll want to know more about this…
“We used to park the Brunch Box at 1313 Market, that's really what began this relationship with McConnell Johnson Real Estate years ago. It really was my favorite and our best spot.”
“So McConnell Johnson called me and said hey, Greg, you know that coffee shop we have downstairs at 1201 Market? Of course. Well, their two employees decided they didn't want to work there anymore, so the owners just folded. Would you be interested?”
“This is this is a much smaller space than the other two Drips, but I told them during negotiations that I was really struggling with using the name Drip if I can't sell food made to order. And they said, that's fine, we will work out a deal for renovations.”
“So I'm going to try to keep everybody happy. We’re starting out as a coffee shop to service their tenants appropriately, with a grab-and-go case that will have different sandwiches and salads and fruit and pasta salads. And over the next six months, we're going to change the space a little and add in things like the Cali, and the classic sandwich, and the burrito – the things Drip Cafe has been known for.”
Speaking of the Cali … when did you hear the news from USA Today?
“So on Monday a week ago, I get a really early morning phone call from my mom – like, at 6:15 in the morning. I'm still sleeping and my mom doesn't call, she only texts. So I thought, oh my gosh, something's wrong. She said, ‘Greg, Greg, Greg! Turn on the news, turn on CBS 3! You're on the news right now! They mentioned the Cali!’ I'm, like, that’s cool. I'm going to go back to bed. I'll find the article online.”
“I got up in a half hour later and, lo and behold, CBS had picked up the USA Today story. It's great publicity. Obviously, I'm very happy to be to be named and nominated. And I wonder how they found me.”
And tell us more about the great victory at the Grilled Cheese Battle.
“I'm super happy about this. I love working with Julianne Cross, by far my favorite promoter in the city. She does such great work and really thrives on that positive energy and trying to showcase what Wilmington can do.”
“So we've always been supportive of her food battles, the Grilled Cheese Battle and the Burger Battle … but I've always come up just short! So we did a grilled cheese stuffed with prosciutto and brie, caramelized leeks and arugula, and a balsamic reduction on thick slices of brioche bread that we grilled in a truffle foie gras butter. With the sweetness from the balsamic, the saltiness from the prosciutto, the pepperiness of the arugula, it really hit a lot of different flavors sensors.”
“We were one of first ones out of food, and I was definitely working it for tickets. I even made the hole in the box bigger so you don't have to struggle. But besides my shenanigans, this battle felt different. These people were coming back for seconds and dropping tickets right away.”
“We've had the trophy on display in Hockessin and we ran the winning grilled cheese the weekend afterward. And we sold the bejesus out of it.”
What’s it like being back on Market as you start operating the coffee shop?
“Every time I've been down there to visit the store, I see somebody I know from Hockessin or Newark or wherever. And people stop me on the street and ask, 'What are you doing in downtown?'”
“Well, you're going to be happy.”