WICHITA — Almost three decades after opening at Carriage Parkway, Toni and Dan Shadid are closing their Toni D’s Deli & Catering and consolidating their business into their family’s Toni D’s Too downtown.
“I’m just transferring the catering business down there plus … taking care of (that) catering business,” Toni Shadid says.
“Just” makes the move sound a little less substantial than it is, though.
“It’s like losing your baby,” Shadid says of leaving the center on East Central just east of Edgemoor.
“That’s probably the hardest part of the whole thing,” she says. “It was just time. It’s time.”
There are a few reasons for that, she and her husband say.
First, Fred Cohlmia, a family member who has an ownership at Toni D’s Too in the Epic Center, is taking some time off from running it.
“I’m moving down there to take over Fred’s catering jobs,” Toni Shadid says.
The Shadids also will run the deli at Toni D’s Too and plan to eventually revamp the menu.
Toni Shadid says she’ll be able to add more to the Toni D’s Too catering.
“They don’t work events,” she says. “We do.”
She also takes care of rentals and does room set-ups.
“I’ve been doing that forever,” Shadid says. “I can continue to take care of those people down there and continue to take care of my people who are all up this way.”
She says that’s how it was when she opened her Carriage Parkway business almost 27 years ago.
“When we were first here, we used to do all the downtown.”
When she started her business, Shadid says her only catering competitors were Antoine Toubia at the Olive Tree and Simply Elegant.
“That was it,” she says. “We were just the newbies.”
A lot has changed since then.
“It’s just a different world out there,” Dan Shadid says. “It probably won’t get back to the way it was in our lifetime.”
Occupancy has dwindled at Carriage Parkway.
“There’s no foot traffic here anymore,” Dan Shadid says.
Adding to issues was the economic crash, he says.
“It all trickles down,” he says.
“You just do what you’ve got to do.”
The Shadids say there’s a more captive audience for the deli downtown, which Dan Shadid says will help.
“It just makes sense to move.”
The deli’s last day at Carriage Parkway is on Tuesday. The Shadids will be at Toni D’s Too beginning March 3.
Toni Shadid says she’s begun telling customers about the change and reassuring them that she’ll still do their events.
“I’ve got so many good, good customers.”