By Katie McFadden
All American Bagel & Barista Station on Beach 116th Street has officially been deemed a “Market of Distinction” by major deli meat brand, Boar’s Head.
On Friday, June 30, Boar’s Head representatives came to Bagel & Barista Station to officially present the deli and its owner, Rob Pisani, with the honor. The day included special Boar’s Head giveaways and a ribbon cutting celebration. Additionally, Robby Schwach of Councilwoman Joann Ariola’s Office presented the shop with a certificate of recognition.
After operating delis for more than 25 years, Pisani was finally awarded the honor with his latest business. Pisani had opened previous delis including his first, All American Deli, in 1998 in Broad Channel, another in Lindenwood and a Bagel Barista in Broad Channel, but it wasn’t until he opened Rockaway’s Bagel and Barista Station in September 2021 that Boar’s Head really started to take notice. Boar’s Head awards delis or markets that not only sell Boar’s Head products, but those that promote the highest standards of quality and exceptional customer service. Boar’s Head representatives that popped in undercover since the store opened, saw this consistently at Bagel Barista.
“I believe one of the reps came in one day and looked at the store and noticed the service, and he said it was different from other stores he had been to, so he approached me and we talked about it, and it took close to a year to approve this,” Jerry Diaz of Diaz Provisions, Pisani’s head distributor said. “Other individuals who work for Boar’s Head came in consistently to see if the standard was still there and saw that it was. It’s not like he opened the store and then the quality went down. It’s always been there.”
As only 40 delis or markets are given this honor in the United States, it is a unique distinction that isn’t easy to achieve. “There’s only 40 in the whole United States, so of all of the stores in the U.S. that sell Boar’s Head, there’s only 40 given this honor and I’m number 40,” Pisani said. “This is definitely not an easy thing to get,” Michelle Nugent, a senior business development manager for Boar’s Head said. “He definitely deserves it.”
For Pisani, it was a long time coming. “I’ve been trying to get this since 2004 or 2005, after being in business for about seven years at the time, and I first heard about it while picking up a catering order for a cousin’s party in Long Island. I asked my boss, what’s this about? And he said you have to meet all these requirements, so I kept trying and trying and never got it. Every store I built, I kept trying. And then finally, they noticed this store,” Pisani said. “People ask why I care about this, and to me, it’s about being the elite of all these other stores that carry Boar’s Head. We only carry the best products and Boar’s Head is the best when it comes to cold cuts. We don’t bait and switch and now when my customers come in, they will know that’s what they’re getting. We can put this distinction on our menu and wall and there’s a few perks that come with it, like getting to try new products 30 days before any other store gets it.”
Bagel & Barista Station is located at 212 Beach 116th Street. For more info, see: bagelbaristastation.com