From humble beginnings to an Auburn tradition to a growing franchise, Momma Goldberg’s Deli has withstood the test of time. This September, Momma G’s celebrates 40 years of Auburn tradition and marks its birthday with a new book, Momma’s Love, coming out in mid-September.

“What has always stood out to me about Momma Goldberg’s is it’s a brand that has built itself around the word love,” said Nick Davis ’84, president of Momma G’s Inc. “That theme is in everything from the name of the signature sandwich to the passion our loyal fans continue to show.”

Davis has been a fan of Momma Goldberg’s Deli for a long time, first as an Auburn student, later as a friend to founder Don DeMent ’63 and his wife, Betty ’71, and then as an initial shareholder of Momma G’s Inc. in 2007.

By 2009, he became a bigger part of Momma’s family as owner of the original location on Magnolia Avenue and Momma Goldberg’s Deli Too on Thach Avenue.

In December 2014, Davis purchased the majority shares of Momma G’s Inc., the franchisor of Momma Goldberg’s Deli.

Momma's Love by Mary Ellen Hendrix

He had a chance to experience some of that love and passion firsthand as a franchisee when the Boaz location opened its doors in August 2011.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Davis said. “People were out the door, lined up around the corner, waiting to hug Don and have a picture taken with him. They were laughing and crying and the excitement was evident.”

Momma Goldberg’s is a brand that has built itself around the word love.

Now the headquarters is in Gainesville, Fla., and the corporate leadership team has grown from three to more than a dozen. Most of the staff has worked together in some fashion for years.

This dynamic makes for a strong infrastructure and demonstrates another word that stands out for Momma G’s—family.

“This has always been a family business,” said Don DeMent. “When I opened the doors in 1976, it was because I wanted to serve the community a high-quality deli product in a comfortable, fun environment.

“It’s a business built on the Golden Rule, and we always tried to make everyone feel at home.”