“Why Are You Being So Nice to Me?”

Meet Curt Dionis and Bob Tusco. They own Home Plate Deli in my small town of Monroe, Connecticut.

You won’t meet two guys who work harder or engage customers more enthusiastically. That’s why Home Plate often has a line out the door instead of a “going out of business” sign in its window.

I caught Curt and Bob between “rushes” on Saturday morning, and they told me about a new customer who had visited their shop recently. Curt and Bob welcomed her, pointed out daily specials, and thanked her, genuinely, for her purchase.

That’s when the woman shot back suspiciously: “Why are you being so nice to me?”

That’s not the response that Curt and Bob usually get. But I understand why the woman might have felt that way.

We’ve become so used to disinterested and disconnected retail service (“Welcome to XYZ. Would you like to try a caramel macchiato today?”) that even the slightest bit of enthusiasm and energy can feel, well, unsavory.

Personally, I find it to be uplifting, as do hundreds of other Home Plate “fans” who don’t mind waiting in line. And being sincere doesn’t cost Curt and Bob a dime in marketing or advertising.

Photo: Haik C. Kavookjian via Monroe Patch.