Crossings Deli Marks 15 Years of Empowering through Employment

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Crossings Deli and owners Brian and Ronya Gunter are proudly marking 15 years of empowering the employment challenged. In partnership with South Carolina Vocational & Rehabilitation Services, they are putting the willing to work at their hometown deli.

They are our best employees, because they want to be here. The ‘Crossings’ name is almost symbolic for us; these employees come to learn from us and we end up learning from them as well.

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Crossings Deli, located on Farrow Road in Columbia, has been in business since February 2000. Since their opening, they have teamed up with the state of South Carolina to offer employment to those in need of a stepping stone into the workforce, after a setback such as incarceration or time spent in rehabilitation. Some employees have dual challenges such as a criminal record, as well as a physical or learning disability. Past employees have also included the deaf and illiterate.

The inspiration for Crossings Deli is a family tradition. Owner Ronya Gunter grew up working alongside her brother in her father’s deli. When that deli opened in 1984, her father began employing women from the local prison through a work release program. Many years later Ronya and her husband, both with Master’s degrees were struggling to find work, so they decided to open their own business, a deli just like the one Ronya grew up with. When Ronya and her husband opened a deli of their own they also decided to work with the state to employ the ‘unemployable’. Unfortunately, just a few years after opening, the prison terminated the program and relocated across the town, but when a door closes, a window opens and soon the state asked the Gunters if they would be interested in another program. This new program sought to transition into the workforce those who required a stepping stone, and the deli provided such an opportunity.

15 years later that partnership is going strong. Many employees have come in glad to have been afforded such an opportunity and have left, able to better provide for themselves and their families with legitimate skills and experience taken from their time at Crossings Deli. Owner Ronya Gunter says of her unique employees, “They are our best employees, because they want to be here. The ‘Crossings’ name is almost symbolic for us; these employees come to learn from us and we end up learning from them as well.”

About Crossings Deli
Crossings Deli is a neighborhood deli open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their new breakfast menu offers sandwiches, casseroles, pastries, light options and Iron Brew Coffee. They also offer a variety of salads, wraps, soups, sandwiches and daily specials for lunch and dinner. Crossings Deli is located at 8604 Farrow Rd, Columbia, SC, 29203. For more information contact owner Ronya Gunter via telephone at (803)736-4446

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