(04/24/13) - A longtime Flint Township business is closing its doors.
After years of struggling to make a profit, Orvel's Deli on Miller Road can't hang on any longer.
The Miller Road Deli has been serving customers from near and far for 29 years. Next week, they'll say goodbye to many of those regulars who have become like family.
"I see the same people almost everyday, I've watched customers have babies, get married and then watch those kids grow up," said manager Carla Morris.
Owner Larry Wittock says they've struggled financially for years. He says a recent mandate by the health department pushed him to make the tough call to close his doors.
"We are grand-fathered claused on some major issues that we won't be any longer, and so because of that I would have to upgrade some of my equipment, which would be a big expense, but that aside, it comes down to a business decision," he said.
The Deli staff includes six part-timers. Morris is the only full-time employee. She's been dedicated to this kitchen for 15 years.
"I'll be unemployed for the first time in 46 years, but I wanted to stay until the very end because of the customers and the people I work for and the staff that I have," she said.
"It hasn't quite sunk in yet. It will be one of those things that sinks in after we're closed that we're actually done and over and chapter in our life has turned and a new chapter is beginning," Wittock said.
That new beginning could be another deli at a different location. It's a possibility Whittock hasn't ruled out.
In the meantime, he'll continue to operate at his second location in Genesys Health Park.
The Miller Road Deli will close April 30.
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