Recipe for success

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Despite tough economic times, Herchek has found a way to grow his business

By Sherry Archie

With all the fast food restaurants around, hamburgers and chicken sandwiches are available in abundance in Lancaster County.

But what if you just want to sit back and enjoy a fresh chicken salad sandwich along with a piping hot bowl of homemade soup?  

Not as many choices available for that.  

One such choice may be in an unexpected place – Hercheks Convenience Store and Sandwich Shop on Meeting Street.  

Over the last year, many businesses have been struggling to keep their heads above water. And some haven’t made it.

Jimmy Herchek faced many of those same challenges in this tough economy, but his business has remained steady.  

While he continued to have the “breakfast guys” each morning and a light crowd for lunches, he wanted to attract more customers.

One way he’s doing this is by serving a dish that is a Lancaster tradition – the chicken salad that was formerly available at Williams Drug Store snack bar. It was a favorite dish for many in Lancaster for years.

When Williams Drug Store closed for business, the owners gave Herchek the coveted recipe. It’s now one of his best sellers.    

This year, Herchek added homemade soups to the menu. It’s fresh made each morning.  Each day a special soup is featured such as vegetable, broccoli and cheese or chili beans.  The soups have been a hit.  

More people are stopping by for a cup or a bowl, so Herchek doubled the seating area in his sandwich shop.  

Now there are six bar stools and seating for 26 at booths and a community table.

He also added a popular feature among students – free Wi-Fi, which allows for wireless connections to the Internet.  

“I’m trying to provide a location where folks can have a great lunch, or just come in with their laptops and work in a quiet place,” Herchek said.  

The store has a presence on Facebook, with 708 fans as of Jan. 31.

The store’s full menu is featured on Facebook, as are many comments and reviews about the food at the sandwich shop.

Herchek is also happy to announce that the sandwich shop is smoke-free during lunch,  from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

David Hamrick and Bobby Legg of Edward Jones Investments eat at Herchek’s almost every day.

They like the community atmosphere and say the food is great.

Others have discovered the same.

Because his sandwich shop is doing so well, Herchek plans to add a part-time employee to assist during the lunch rush.

It seems Herchek has found the right recipe for doing business in these hard economic times.

The sandwich shop at Hercheks is open from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.