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Molly Merkle; 17 YEARS STRONG The Brown Bag Deli

Earlier this week I had the privilege of photographing and speaking with Molly Merkle from, The Brown Bag Deli. Molly just celebrated her 17TH YEAR of owning and running her restaurant. And just this past October, BrewDog and The Brown Bag Deli paired together by bringing delicious food options to customers seeking to quench their thirst and grab a bite to eat (I recommend “Molly’s Favorite” on the menu...gimme some of that roast turkey with mozzarella on grilled ciabatta).

During our conversation, and, many of the conversations, these amazing business owners have been somewhat emotional. Tears begin as soon as we ask, “how’d you do it, how’d you survive?” Molly was no different. As she’s mixing up a delicious kale salad Molly mentions how she couldn’t have done it without her dedicated and hardworking staff, “They were leaders at times, we had to figure out what to do. No one has ever done this before.” The Brown Bag Deli was innovative and never really shut down.

The challenges that business owners faced in 2020 were no easy task. With Brown Bag Deli now having TWO beautiful locations, Molly has proved to be successful. She not only strives to provide her clients with good services and great quality, but she also takes care of her three kids at home. Women face challenges every day where they often have to work harder to excel in a male-dominated industry. With our March spotlights on empowering female-owned businesses like Molly Merkle’s, we’ve found that the local community does help make these businesses successful. Molly shared about her experience of doing whatever she could to help provide her staff with a paycheck during the shutdown. However, “there was light at the end of the tunnel,” stated Molly. She won’t go back to what it was, she’s learned new tricks.

That’s why we also wanted to extend our fundraiser for Brown Girls Mentoring. Through April, we're keeping our relationship with our favorite nonprofit, Brown Girls Mentoring. You can book our business package where 10% of these bookings will go to Brown Girls Mentoring. Send us an email for details about how to book your business package.

Trying to think of where to go for a bite to eat? Then check out The Brown Bag Deli’s newest location located in the Short North. You won’t be disappointed. Thank you to Molly, her staff, and The Brown Bag Deli, for serving up some delicious food.

All photos are taken by Emma Parker Photography.

For more information, please contact Emma at

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