Core ValuesEstablished in 2015.

Chef Tom has been feeding people of the Northwoods for 20 years, many of those years in fine dining establishments.  The vision of CT’s Deli is to be the best thing you eat today. The historical building, along with the energy of downtown, offers an ideal location for a social, delicious lunch.  Formerly called the Elbo Room lounge, the building itself has many tales to tell… not to be outdone by Chef Tom’s tales.

CT’s Deli Core Values:

Provide authentic customer service
Delight and nourish customers while embracing their diversity
Build positive team and family spirit
Nurture employee passions and assets
Community committed

ChefTChef Tom (CT)

What you see: a professionally dressed, shiny headed, trimmed beard, fast- handed food making machine, who spent 7 years proudly serving our country in the Army.
What he is: A tattooed, Harley riding, patriotic hunter who likes to decorate and is obsessed with socks. Rumor has it he changes them 3 times a day and sleeps with them on.

His passion for food started at a young age and his natural gift allowed him to have a career where he gets paid to play with food while creating flavor perfection. He’s cooked it all: breakfast, fine-dining, buffets, weddings, large gatherings of 700, pig roasts, Easter brunch — but his favorite is still feeding his family Sunday dinner at home.

His staff would say under the tattoos is a soft teddy bear that loves to kid and act out. The open kitchen at CT’s has somewhat curtailed his playful antics as now he has to spend more time on his hair, but he loves to talk about music and movies. He is known for giving nicknames to all his staff and the regular passersby he sees out the window. He is a living example of the expression “if at first you don’t succeed.” He said many times “I’ll never own my own business again,” but that was before CT’s Deli was even a vision.


Rhonda re-careered into the culinary world after raising her family and wanting a change from the corporate marketing world. She is thankful the universe guided her to Rhinelander and Nicolet College Culinary  program. Owning her own restaurant was a natural progression of her work experience and the pieces and people came together to manifest CTs Deli.  She believes the Deli has created a life where work and life lines fade into one happy life. Being the most normal of the crew, she humors their antics, has no obsessions, speaks ill of no one, and wears her halo with pride.


Jessie commands the front of the house and protects her turf from the boys in the kitchen. Her National Guard experience has helped her survive the unruly kitchen staff. Her previous barista experience makes her a great bartender, mixologist, and order taker. Notice her nails as she serves drinks and takes your money, as she might spend most of her tips on her nails.

She has two beautiful daughters who love “Mr. Tom’s food,” even though they may sneak next door every now and again. Jessie loves winter, especially when she’s in Mexico.  She has been seen taking 3 minutes to put on warm winter clothes to walk 10 seconds next door.  Her favorite saying: “Don’t judge me.” She says she’s height challenged and can’t see the dust on top of anything, and there’s also that “afraid of heights” thing we found out about during a recent zip lining team building adventure.

 Dave (Taz or Diamond)

Dave may have cinched his job interview at CT’s with the line “I’m strong like bull.”  He gets to use his strength every day, carrying meat up and down stairs and out to the smoker.  Chef nicknamed him Taz as he runs around like crazy chasing his focus while working the line and everything else the kitchen requires. Nickname ‘Diamond Dave’ comes from Van Halen, as Dave knows every band and lead singer and every song. His favorite band is Lynyrd Skynyrd… no wait… that’s the only band he has a major dislike for.  Dave is very well-read and knowledgeable on current events, maybe from reading his 7 children their bedtime stories. His youngest, Asher, is definitely the apple of his eye. His witty personality and work ethic — not to mention his striking resemblance to CT — makes him a pleasure to have around.

Dustin (Stallion)

In checking with Wikipedia, Dustin is an oxymoron… a certified Personal Trainer and a Professional Baker. Dustin joined the CT team as our very own baker, and he has proven his talent every day as his cookies and brownies disappear from his own little showcase.

Dustin created his own baking company, Butcher Shop Bake Company, and his cookies are now featured in over 10 businesses in the area.

When a full time kitchen position became available, Dustin stepped in and quickly became Chef’s mini-me. He is an enthusiastic driven young man, both in keeping his sleek muscular body and learning the culinary and baking trades.  He has a Business Management degree from Nicolet College with some Culinary classes thrown in.  Why yes… Dustin is single and interested in finding Mrs. Right and creating the all-American family.  He recently purchased his own home, vacating his parents’ basement.  He is a lover of old-movies and old music with Frank Sinatra being high on his favorite list.  He is a foodie, a movie buff, and loves to eat ice cream every Sunday… wait, this isn’t his dating profile. Dustin has great aspirations for his talents and we are thankful to him for sharing his at CT’s.

Jesse (Hass)

Its official…after many months of working, Jesse (Hass) finally got his CT Deli jacket. He has some years under his belt cooking at several places in the Northwoods and met the love of his life, Britney, while attending Nicolet College Culinary school. We employ several strong men but Hass shows them all up and can carry ALL  the meat off the smoker at the same time.  Hass enjoys fine wine, creating table tops while playing with trees, bowhunting, throwing tires around for his workout, all types of cooking, and whatever his wife wants him to do.  A great fit to our team, looking good Hass.


Rainey is one of CT’s daughters and has worked at the Deli since we opened. She can help in the Kitchen and create a great sandwich or drama, depending on the day.   When it gets too hot in the Kitchen she transfers to Front of the House where she has gotten to know so many of our customers.  Since turning 18, she now loves pouring beer and making drinks, leaving glass washing to the veterans.   Her main love is her Iphone and now a high school graduate, she has been challenged to get a job in the real world where her Dad cannot boss her around.