In an era when fast food is often the go-to lunch during a hectic workday, the Druxerman brothers believe there is a better option. Without compromising quality or convenience, their company, Druxy’s Inc., provides fresh, nutrition-packed sandwiches to busy people at 43 franchise locations throughout southern Ontario. Bruce Druxerman, president and CEO, founded Druxy’s in 1976 and was later joined by his brothers Peter Druxerman, head of operations and marketing, and Harold Druxerman, head of finance.
The brothers share ownership of Druxy’s and have stuck together for more than three decades. “We’ve stuck together and stuck it out, even when the going got tough,” says Peter. “No matter what has come our way, we’ve paid all our bills and survived through persistence and desire to make our company work. It’s not in our makeup to give up.”
Particularly in the Toronto market, competition is high. The company’s resilience has paid off, however, and the brothers have made adjustments along the way to ensure that for the last 39 years — and the next — customers will be able to find fast, fresh sandwiches made with high-quality breads, meat, vegetables and other toppings.”
Keeping it simple
Peter notes that one of the biggest mistakes fast food and fast casual chains can make is deviating from what they do best. “Many chains have brought on products to diversify menus that they don’t do well,” he explains. “It slows down service, raises prices and lowers the quality of food across the board. We’ve done it too — in this industry we often think that the way to increase sales is to add more to the menu. Now we’re doing the exact opposite.”
The company’s goal for the near future is simplifying and clarifying. Druxy’s is focusing on cut-to-order, fresh deli sandwiches and not much else. By scaling back menus to just sandwiches — deli meats are the core of the business, though grilled cheese is another customer favorite — and salads.
A major part of the Druxy’s growth plan is introducing smaller, kiosk locations that simplify the operation even more. These smaller locations will only sell roast beef, corned beef and smoked meat with a potato side and beverages. “These kiosks will just sell those deli meats – it’s a very narrow scope, much smaller in size and simpler to operate,” Peter explains. “These locations will work best in larger venues, such as malls and large office buildings, instead of so many independent locations.”
Maintaining quality for 39 years
The company’s longevity alone sets it apart from competitors and is a point of pride for Peter, Bruce and Harold. “There are a few reasons we have been around so long,” Peter explains. “For one thing, we have a point of differentiation. There are other delis around, but there are not many traditional delis like ours that operate where we do, particularly the downtown office buildings. We don’t have other sandwich shops competing with the same foods.”
The greatest factor in the company’s success is the Druxerman brothers’ commitment to quality. “Our focus has always been on making sure that food is at the highest quality it can be,” explains Peter. “My days at Procter & Gamble taught me that the best quality product stands the test of time. Quality will last out over price — price is easy to compete on, quality is difficult. We know that our customers choose quality over price and that’s our priority.”
Druxy’s participated in the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada’s Health Check program. Health Check notes healthier options at restaurants with a logo, marking foods that meet specific nutritional criteria. While Peter notes that none of the company’s sandwiches should be considered diet food, the nutritious ingredients such as quality meats and fresh vegetables made the brand a contender for the recognition.
The business is also regularly involved with countless nonprofits, donating food and gift cards to events, fundraisers, auctions and other initiatives. Druxy’s has sponsored Camp Awakening, a summer camp geared toward offering outdoor experiences to physically disabled children.
Peter adds that he and his colleagues are currently working to get involved with Freestyle Ontario, an organization that gets underserved children and teens onto the slopes and skiing in the winter. “We’re skiers and this is a wonderful, active organization,” he notes. “They’ve been a pleasure to work with and we look forward to doing more with them.”
Druxy’s remains involved in the community, even as that community expands. Peter, Bruce and Harold share a dedication to feeding people well and providing value in the form of quality sandwiches. Combined, they have nine children — none have yet taken an active role in the company, but contribute through their own expertise on occasion (one is a lawyer and another is a designer).
After 39 years in business, Druxy’s Inc. has stood the test of time and will continue to feed high-quality, traditional deli sandwiches to customers hungry for a healthier, wholesome option in the Ontario market.