Business Feature Mmmm, good: Rumors honored as Retailer of the Year; Owners still quiet about move | CullmanSense

Business Feature

Mmmm, good: Rumors honored as Retailer of the Year; Owners still quiet about move

Annette Harris accepts the Alabama’s 2017 Silver Retailer of the Year award this week. / Photo courtesy of the Alabama Retail Association

Editor's Note: The Tribune shared online Tuesday that Rumors Deli was named by the Alabama Retail Association as Alabama’s 2017 Silver Retailer of the Year in the Annual Sales Less Than $1 Million category. The Tribune's W.C. Mann got more details from co-owner Annette Harris, which are shared here. The editorial decision was made to honor Harris' wishes and not disclose the deli's new location yet (Rumors is moving at the end of the year). Look for details on the move once Harris shares the information with her family and employees.

CULLMAN - Rumors Deli, a fixture of the First Avenue Warehouse District, is getting ready to leave its longtime location, but not before racking up one more honor.  On Tuesday, Oct. 17, the winner of numerous local “best deli” and “best sandwich” awards was named by the Alabama Retail Association as Alabama’s 2017 Silver Retailer of the Year in the Annual Sales Less Than $1 Million category.

Rumors was the outsider in a field dominated by Birmingham-area businesses.  The deli finished in a three-way tie for the award, with CakEffect of Homewood and Please Reply LLC of Mountain Brook.  Villager Yoga of Mountain Brook took the top place with a gold award.

Co-owner Annette Harris had this to say about the award: “What does it mean to get the award?  We were not sure exactly what it meant at first to even be nominated.  We were honored when we saw what a big deal this is.  This is not just about restaurants, but about all businesses in the state of Alabama, yet we were in the running.  We were excited, but had no clue we would even have a chance after seeing all the businesses that were also nominated.  This is a big deal.

“We have all worked so hard for over 17 years, trying to keep the consistency with our food and making customers feel important and wanted here.  We also try to make our employees feel like family.  We all spend more time here at work than with our own families so it’s important to develop that relationship with them.  Without them, we have no reason to be here...same with our customers.”

“Everybody knows Ralph and Annette,” Monograms Plus owner Margaret Hamm told the Alabama Retail Association (Hamm nominated the Harrises for the award). “And they know their customers.”

“We are honored that we won,” continued Harris. “I still didn't get it, even when I got to the awards luncheon.  One of my friends asked me if I had a speech prepared and I said no.  I didn't.  I winged it.  It was fine.  It just never clicked.  It is a fantastic organization that helps retailers all over Alabama and they really made a big deal over all of us.  I loved it.”

Of course, The Tribune couldn’t let the conversation go by without asking about Rumors’ closely-guarded secret new location, especially in the wake of a recently-circulated possible address.  Harris continued to play that card close to the vest, saying that she had heard speculations and decided not to respond.  She also said that, when the time comes to reveal the new location, she will take time to share that information with her family and employees before publicizing anything.

Harris did share with The Tribune back in August that the new location will have a pick-up window.

Read more about Rumors’ award at https://alabamaretail.org/news/rumors-deli/.

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