HOUSTON, Texas -- Ziggy Gruber follows in his father and grandfather's footsteps in the delicatessen business. Kenny & Ziggys New York Delicatessen in Uptown Houston is the culmination of Ziggys life work.
Ziggys grandfather, Max, immigrated to the U.S. from Hungary in the early 1900s. By 1927, Max has opened the first Jewish-style deli on Broadway in New York.
"Me and my grandfather were very, very close," said Ziggy. "He was my best friend and he taught me everything."
As a young man, Ziggy opened his own delicatessen in New York before moving to Los Angeles to open one on Sunset Boulevard.
Ziggy feels what he is doing is important because the traditional delicatessen business is shrinking across the country.
"The parents worked very hard to make sure that their children didnt have to work as hard; so they sent them to become doctors, lawyers, you know, business people," said Ziggy. "They decided not to go into the deli business, so Im kind of the last of the Mohicans in that respect."
In 1999, Houston businessman Lenny Friedman and the former owner of the Carnegie Deli, Freddy Klein, met with Ziggy and convinced him to move to Houston and open a deli in the Lone Star State.
In the more than two decades since then, Ziggy continues to offer some of the best traditional delicatessen food in the country.