New Johnson City sandwich shop aimed at healthy living

Nathan Baker • Sep 24, 2013 at 9:09 AM

A Johnson City lunch spot is turning toward healthy choices under new ownership.

Jonathan Harrigan, a five-year partner in the Alley Kat Sandwich Shop, said his new venture, Canteen Deli, caters to the health-conscious sandwich crowd.

Tucked away behind the Johnson City Mall on Northpark Drive, the 40-seat deli now offers all-natural sliced meats and homemade soups, salads and sauces.

“We make everything in-house with 100 percent natural, organic ingredients,” Harrigan said Monday. “These days, a lot of people are trying to be more healthy, so we’re giving them options for that.”

Harrigan purchased the Canteen last month and added the “Deli” to the name, both to end the confusion that it was a Mexican restaurant and because the simple addition avoided a hefty bill from the sign maker.

He started in the food service business more than 16 years ago, taking a cooking job while working his way through college.

A few years later, Harrigan bought into Alley Kat and worked there in the kitchen, cooking and running food to customers in the cozy dining room.

At Canteen Deli, he cooks, cleans, serves and buses with the help of two other employees.

“I do it all,” he said. “When it’s really busy, I get some help, but it’s usually me. I’ve done it that way for years, so I’m pretty used to the stress of it.”

Harrigan said he’ll likely expand the menu to include wraps and has been toying with the idea of introducing blood-type-specific meals, but for now, he’ll keep it simple.

Canteen Deli is open from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. most days, and is available for special events after hours.

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