DomAdi’s raises the bar

Adi Wade, co-owner of DomAdi’s prepares The Dom inside DomAdi’s Deli. (The Leader-Herald/Josh Bovee)

AMSTERDAM — When Dominic and Adi Wade decided to establish a commerce plaza on Route 5S in Amsterdam, after opening both a liquor store and a beverage center there, it quickly became clear that what residents on the southside of the river were really looking for was food. And so when no established restaurant chains or restaurateurs were interested in taking on the challenge, Adi did what many self-professed “foodies” would love to do when presented the opportunity — she designed her own restaurant from the ground up. So became DomAdi’s Deli.

“I’m a foodie. I love food, it’s my passion, it’s my hobby,” Adi said. “I designed all the sandwiches in my kitchen before we even opened and my husband [Dominic] is my lead taste tester. It’s all Boar’s Head [meats and cheeses]. Everything’s completely quality. Lots of gourmet ingredients — arugula and goat cheese. Basically all my favorite things that I would make at home, that’s what’s on the menu. It’s all my favorite sandwiches.”

DomAdi’s Deli, located at 1451 Route 5S in Amsterdam, opened its doors on June 6, 2017 and has been serving healthy and unique breakfast and lunch options to a growing crowd of patrons ever since. DomAdi’s serves both hot and cold signature sandwiches including both The Dom — roast beef and cheddar, with caramelized onions, arugula and horseradish mayo — and The Adi —grilled chicken with spinach, peppadew peppers, cucumber, scallion, feta and honey mustard. They also feature specialty salads, homemade soups, mac and cheeses and desserts, and specialty breakfast sandwiches in the mornings.

“Part of it was if I’m going to put all my blood, sweat and tears and money into a place, it’s going to have all my favorite foods,” Adi said. “It’s the food I feed my family, so I want it to be healthy. I have three little kids, I’m conscientious about what I serve them. And so it’s convenient for me to know that whatever I bring home from the deli, I know that it’s good and delicious. Our motto is ‘Healthy first….delicious always.’ ”

The Wades, who reside on the southside of Amsterdam with their three children, decided to establish a commerce center to fill the growing need for places to shop, as businesses and residents continue to enter into the area. But its clear they intend to do so while keeping things personal and relatable. The deli is filled with personal allusions to the Wade family, from the walls which feature pictures of their children from a vacation in Belize, to the menu, which features salads named after daughters Paetyn and Raegyn, and a sandwich — the ‘Number 3’ — which was named after son Sebastion who was not yet born at the time of the sandwich’s creation.

“We developed basically the whole plaza because we live on the south side of Amsterdam and we saw that there was no commerce or shopping on this side of the river, and there are a lot of residents,” Adi said. “I incorporated a lot of personal, family stuff into the menu. Even our hand-filled cannolis. My mother-in-law, she is like 100 percent Italian. It took me a couple of months to get the recipe out of her and she made me promise not to share it. But she gave me the recipe for our cannoli filling. There’s secret ingredients that we keep locked away.”

Since opening two years ago, Adi and manager Josh Rhodes have worked to establish a dedicated team of crewmembers to help raise the bar of DomAdi’s.

“Building the team was the most crucial part. I have an awesome team here,” Adi said. “Josh, thank goodness for Josh. He’s a really amazing cook and knows food well. So when I talk about crazy stuff and flavors and things like that, he’s like ‘Yeah I can do that, we can figure that out.’”

In addition to co-owners, Adi and Dom, and manager Rhodes, the team is comprised of kitchen manager Shawn Baker, front house manager Allie Demitraszek, prep cook Dan VanEps, head of sanitation Rebecca Lohmeyer, and sandwich artists Liz Peterson, Bri Petkovsek and Beth Harvey.

With the menu and the crew assembled, DomAdi’s has been steadily increasing its customer base, which Adi says has happened mostly through word of mouth. Much of DomAdi’s business comes from the expanding business district on Route 5S in Amsterdam, which includes Beech Nut, Target, Hill & Markes, Alpin Haus, and others including the Dollar General currently under construction.

“Obviously new businesses don’t have a big budget — or any at all — for marketing. So we’re really relying on word of mouth. It’s very neighborly and mutually beneficial,” Adi said. “I know that families are relocating to work. I live right up in the development over there and all of a sudden they’re building new houses. You can feel it and see it, this area is growing and people are coming in, and I feel like a lot of people from other places are coming in.”

But even with the growing number of patrons on the Southside, DomAdi’s is making a concerted effort to reach further into the city of Amsterdam and the surrounding communities. They’ve recently extended their delivery service to accommodate both businesses and residential, and offer free delivery on orders over $35. They’ve also taken advantage of marketing opportunities through involvement with the Amsterdam Recreation Department’s many festivals. The department recently gave DomAdi’s the distinction of having the hottest wings in Amsterdam for their “Ghost Face Killah wings” at last month’s Wing Fest.

“[The Amsterdam Recreation Department] has been really supportive of us,” Adi said. “On a personal level, they contact us, they give us feedback, they really want us to be involved. They know we’re kind of on the outskirts of town and it’s easy to forget about us, because if you don’t have a reason to come over here, you’re not going to come over.”

DomAdi’s has participated in several of the Amsterdam Recreation Department’s festivals including River Fest, Craft Beer Fest, Octoberfest and Italian Fest.

To help out with their growing involvement in the community, DomAdi’s now features a 26-foot, state-of-the-art food truck which is used for both special events and for privately catered events. The food truck has its own unique menu featuring sliders, tacos and grinders, and a catering menu featuring party classics like pulled pork and vodka penne.

“It’s beautiful and it’s a lot of fun,” Adi said of the food truck. “And, I have to say, it’s been really helpful for marketing. It’s a billboard for us out there. And when we go to all the events it’s amazing how many people come up to us.”

DomAdi’s continues to expand its reach while refining its menu and processes along the way. According to Rhodes, the team at this point has stuck a pretty good balance.

“We’ve gotten so much better and so much more efficient with less,” Rhodes said. “And we’re still learning. There’s always room for improvement but what’s cool is having a dedicated team that their hearts are in it. They’re not just punching a card.”

“All of these people are awesome,” Adi agreed. “We couldn’t do it without them. All of our customers are amazing and hugely supportive. We wouldn’t still here if it weren’t for that. We’re still trying to continue consistency, quality and just growing the business and the involvement with the community and events and getting the food truck out there. In food service, you have to love it to be able to stick with it because every day is a different challenge. But it’s fun and delicious.”

DomAdi’s Deli is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The food truck and catering are available anytime by apointmen. For more information visit, or visit them on Facebook or Instagram.

By Josh Bovee

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