In October 2018 Brad and Lindsey Belanger created the Herban Wolf Deli Food Truck. After cooking up a successful first year, the Anoka couple leased a storefront in the historic post office in downtown Anoka and celebrated the deli’s grand opening Tuesday, Dec. 3.
Focused on specialty paninis, the deli is open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and the food truck continues to operate in Anoka and Sherburne counties.
The deli was inspired by Brad’s interest in cooking and Norse lore and by Lindsey’s love of nature and gardening.
With experience working at Avant Garden in Anoka, as well as a deli in Denver, Brad dreams up the sandwiches and prepares the food with an emphasis on high quality ingredients. Herban Wolf’s sandwiches feature “bold, handmade flavors, local herbaceous breads and ingredients, smoky meats and cheeses and crisp, fresh vegetables,” according to its website.
Lindsey, who had worked in the corporate world most of her career, decided she’d “had enough of that” and handles the back end of the business.
The Belangers said they learned a lot through a year running the food truck, including the importance of advanced prep to keep the wait times at the window down.
“We cheated a little by doing the truck,” Lindsey said jokingly.
Since its soft opening Nov. 4, the downtown deli storefront has had a positive reception in the community, according to the Belangers.
“We’re really thankful for the support of everybody,” Lindsey said.
Anoka is the couple’s hometown, and Lindsey remembers when the Herban Wolf space was the Brick House Deli, which received a visit from President George W. Bush in 2004.
The Herban Wolf is the first of several new businesses planned for the historic building at 300 E. Main St., which served as a post office from 1916 to 1977 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s owned by Sen. Jim Abeler of Anoka.
In June the building’s largest tenant, Emerald Isle Antiques, closed its doors, leaving most of the space empty, but much of the building is now under construction, in preparation for other tenants.
Other businesses planned for the historic post office include a speakeasy, a sit-down restaurant and a bridal shop.
Abeler said it’s good to see new businesses and young people like the Belangers filling in the gaps in Anoka.
Learn more about Herban Wolf at herbanwolfdeli.com.