For over 65 years, one of the South Bay’s favorite places has been Mickey’s Deli in Hermosa Beach. In 1953, Michael Angelo “Mickey” Mance started Mickey’s Deli with a smile and a few menu items, including a Sauce Sandwich for five cents. Back in the 50’s, surfers would come into Mickey’s Deli with five cents and look for something to eat, so Mickey grabbed a roll, added marinara sauce, and served it up. Since his passing in 2001, his son Paul and grandson Mickey have taken over and continue to show their authenticity as a father-son duo.
Paul Mance is the current president of Mickey’s Deli who oversees all operations, transactions, and customer service. Paul’s son Mickey is the current Vice President of Sales and Operations; Mickey started working at Mickey’s when he was 14 years old by stocking, prepping, and making sandwiches. After going to college and living in San Diego for seven years, Mickey moved back to the South Bay and started working full time at Mickey’s in October 2016. “We are a third generation business that is looking to continue to grow as we go into our 65th year of business,” Mickey said. “We want to cater to the new crowd of people without losing who we are and why we have been around for so long.”
Mickey Mance answered a few questions for us about how Mickey’s has become such a beloved business in the South Bay.
Over the years, how have you seen Mickey’s clientele evolve and change?
Originally, we were more of a convenience store offering beverages and snacks to people coming off the beach but over time we have evolved with food and our deli items being the most popular and what our customers drive long and far to enjoy. We have always gotten tourists from around the world during the summer time, but the locals keep us going year round.
In what ways have you noticed the food business change over the years?
There was much less competition in the past. We originally opened we were the only place you could get food down here. Now there is a new spot on every corner. People want good food and they want it fast.
What are some of the most popular dishes? Is the sauce sandwich still a go-to for many people?
The three most popular sandwiches are the Pastrami Deluxe, Hermosa Chicken Deluxe and Italian Combo.
For Catering, our Salami Rollups are very popular as well as the mostaccioli deluxe (Chopped ricotta cheese, swiss cheese, and mozzarella cheese topped with Mickey’s Famous Marinara sauce). The sauce sandwich is still one of our most popular items today.
What are some of your favorite items from the menu?
Our Pastrami Sandwich and Italian Combo. We grill our pastrami on the flat top which is unlike most places who may boil or microwave it. And all of the meats from the Italian combo are imported.
How has using modern courier services like Postmates, UberEATS, and DoorDash affected business?
This has been a great way for us to gain exposure to those who may otherwise choose a different dining destination. Because these companies have the ability to bring our food up to 15-20 minutes away, many times these are new customers that would not have tried us otherwise. We have been able to use their platforms to market our business, as well as adding on delivery which was too costly to do in house.