Country Corner

Country Corner Country Corner is a deli, grocery store and community center, all in one.

One in an occasional series of stories about family-owned businesses in the community. By David Boyce Almanac Staff Writer West Menlo Park isn't lacking in community spirit at its own vital, if unofficial, center: the Country Corner deli and grocery store on Alameda de las Pulgas at Monterey Avenue. For neighborhood kids, it's a refuge stocked with candy, ice cream, a sense of home away from home, and even credit. For the gardeners and construction workers in the area for the day, the noontime line to the deli at the back of the store speaks to the popularity of the sandwiches and homemade salads. And for upscale shoppers, a $100 bottle of wine, a $50 bottle of 18-year-old single malt scotch, or a six-pack of micro-brewed ale are not hard to find. The store also stocks gourmet items, such as capers and imported olives along with canned goods and other staples. Tying it all together with bonhomie and energy to spare on any given weekday are owner Bob Wehab at the cash register and Edward, his younger brother, making the sandwiches. Also working in the deli every day are Bob's wife Nadia and Lila, a family friend. The food At least part of the experience of buying a deli sandwich is watching it being made. Edward knows this. "Let them look at something good," he says, speaking of customers looking over his shoulder as he works. Edward, who says he loves to serve people, says the most important factor in making a good sandwich is attitude. "Be well in yourself," he says. "You have to be calm. You have to have empty thoughts." Their most popular sandwich is the chicken filet with melted cheese and avocado on Dutch crunch bread, he says. The sourdough buns are big sellers too; they go through six dozen every day. The deli also has salads and other prepared foods for American, Russian, Mexican, Greek and Italian palates. Bob says his wife makes the salads in the morning, and that they have a reliable source of homemade pasta every day. In the morning, customers favor the Krispy Kreme donuts that Bob brings down every day from Daly City. He says that the secret to their popularity is in the way they're made. They're fried quickly in a shallow pool of vegetable oil, he says, and rely on sweetness rather than fat for their flavor. Looking back Bob and his brother were born in the town of Ramle, near Tel Aviv in central Israel. Of the current turmoil in Israel, Bob says: "It's ugly. It's really ugly." Both Bob and Edward are particularly concerned about the tense stand-off between the Israeli army and about 100 Palestinian gunmen and several monks and nuns taking refuge in Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity. The church is built on the location believed to be the birthplace of Jesus. They both attended services there many times as children, Bob says. Bob and his brother are of Greek heritage and were brought up as Christians, attending Catholic elementary school and Greek Orthodox high school. They came to the United States after high school and have been here ever since. Bob lives with his wife and four kids in Millbrae, while Edward lives in San Bruno. Building's history Bob bought the store nine years ago. He says that although the building is more than 100 years old, it would still be recognizable to a visitor from its early days when it was a carriage stop for ranchers. One big change is that it used to have four doors, one in each wall, to provide entryways at strategically placed horse hitching posts, Bob says. He says the store was a saloon for a while, and for a time it had a butcher shop in the back, with ovens and facilities for smoking the meat. Bob says that the building is unchanged because the county considers it to have some kind of historical significance, but the archivist at the county historical society says there is no record of such status being conferred on the building. The customers The store is popular with regulars. Bob says he has 1,500 regular customers come in every week. With traffic like that, it's not hard to pick out a stranger at the counter. Once in while, Bob says an underage kid with a fake ID will come in and attempt to buy alcohol or cigarettes. They don't get by him because he can identify such IDs when he sees them, even those with authentic-looking watermarks. He says he turns it back and forth in the light to make his determination. "Doesn't look good," he tells them. "You keep it." He says he tries to set a tone to discourage them. "You tell them 'No, no, no.' They never come back. They tell their friends, 'Don't go there.'" For all the cigarettes and alcohol available in the store, one would expect to see another popular vice: lottery tickets. But Bob doesn't sell them. His brother Edward comments: "The people around here are lucky enough." Occasionally, a neighborhood dog will come by. "They jump over the fence, they come straight here," he says. He says he keeps them in the backyard and calls their owners to come pick them up. With the daily influx of kids, parents, well-to-do home owners, gardeners and construction workers, the store is a destination for a wide range of customer cultures. Bob has a simple approach. "We treat all our customers equally, from little kids to 100-year-olds. Doesn't matter," he says. Age is no factor in determining creditworthiness, for example. The words, "Pay me next time," are frequently heard. And discounts of 10 to 15 percent are common for customers who buy in bulk, such as sports teams. Zack Heimbuck, a senior at Menlo School, likes the store because "they know you," he says. "It's like a little center in the community." Ruth Steinberg, a physician at Palo Alto Medical Foundation who lives in Menlo Park, says she visits the store every day with her kids on the way home from school. "This is just the best store," she says. "If you don't have enough money, you can pay them later." As a physician, Dr. Steinberg says she also likes the location of the store because it encourages a healthier lifestyle that involves walking to the store rather than driving. Bob says he gets up every day at 4:30 a.m. to drive to San Francisco and Daly City to pick up rolls and donuts. "It takes much discipline to run a store," he says. INFORMATION The Country Corner grocery store is located at 3207 Alameda de las Pulgas, at the intersection of Monterey Avenue. It is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., except on Sundays, when it closes at 7 p.m.

#CountryCorner is out here in the Holy Land! #Jerusalem #I❤️JLM #TieDye
07/01/2019

#CountryCorner is out here in the Holy Land! #Jerusalem #I❤️JLM #TieDye

From Paris with love 💕
06/23/2019

From Paris with love 💕

MENLO PARK BABY!!!! #LFG!!! @TIERNA_DAVIDSON x @ABBYDAHLKEMPER
06/16/2019

MENLO PARK BABY!!!! #LFG!!! @TIERNA_DAVIDSON x @ABBYDAHLKEMPER

#SundayVibes ☀️ #RIPBobby 2 years today
06/09/2019

#SundayVibes ☀️ #RIPBobby 2 years today

Engraved logo @sfgiants wine! Come by and get one if you rep the squad! Thanks you @tessalita_  @ Country Corner
06/07/2019

Engraved logo @sfgiants wine! Come by and get one if you rep the squad! Thanks you @tessalita_ @ Country Corner

05/22/2019

We encourage you to put your own “twist” to our new shirts!!! #bleach 44°&Cloudy x @labseven.co #weargloves #DIY 💟💙💚💛🧡❤️💜🌀🌤🌈

We love our youngsters! They are the future!!! Love you Benji and Amalia!!!!! ❤️❤️❤️ @ Country Corner
05/21/2019

We love our youngsters! They are the future!!! Love you Benji and Amalia!!!!! ❤️❤️❤️ @ Country Corner

Our #hometownhero @abbydahlkemper! We cannot wait to see you and #TeamUSA take over France. 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 S...
05/18/2019

Our #hometownhero @abbydahlkemper! We cannot wait to see you and #TeamUSA take over France. 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 S/o @cocacola & @uswnt @uswntplayers #LESSSSSSGOOOOOOOO @ Country Corner

Happy Passover to our Chosen 🔯customers!
04/20/2019

Happy Passover to our Chosen 🔯customers!

New artwork. ✍🏼
03/22/2019

New artwork. ✍🏼

#AvengersAssemble !!!
03/18/2019

#AvengersAssemble !!!

#AvengersAssemble !!!
03/18/2019

#AvengersAssemble !!!

@supremenewyork x @countrycorner
03/18/2019

@supremenewyork x @countrycorner

Just got 6 #CreamofKentucky 11.5’s!!! I’m selling lower than anyone around.
02/15/2019

Just got 6 #CreamofKentucky 11.5’s!!! I’m selling lower than anyone around.

Managed to get my hands on these to add to the @GameOfThrones collection!!!  @ Country Corner
02/15/2019

Managed to get my hands on these to add to the @GameOfThrones collection!!! @ Country Corner

Selling my bottle of Weller. $1k contact me or come buy the store. @countrycorner
02/06/2019

Selling my bottle of Weller. $1k contact me or come buy the store. @countrycorner

新年快乐!恭喜发财!
02/05/2019

新年快乐!恭喜发财!

The gangs all here! #BCC
02/02/2019

The gangs all here! #BCC

Top-flight security of the world! #NeighborhoodWatch
01/29/2019

Top-flight security of the world! #NeighborhoodWatch

BCC GANG GANG
01/20/2019

BCC GANG GANG

Shout out Ricky Rosé aka #RickRoss The Boss aka @richforever
01/20/2019

Shout out Ricky Rosé aka #RickRoss The Boss aka @richforever

Country Corner is cheering on @mattygreggruns! Check out his story!
01/08/2019

Country Corner is cheering on @mattygreggruns! Check out his story!

#ramengang 🍜
01/07/2019

#ramengang 🍜

“WAKE UP LOSER! WE GOING TO WORK” rip Uncle Mike! HAPPY BIRTHDAY  @ Country Corner
01/05/2019

“WAKE UP LOSER! WE GOING TO WORK” rip Uncle Mike! HAPPY BIRTHDAY @ Country Corner

Merry Christmas 🎄🎁 and a Happy New Year! We will be closed today and tomorrow (26th) for remodeling!
12/25/2018

Merry Christmas 🎄🎁 and a Happy New Year! We will be closed today and tomorrow (26th) for remodeling!

Progress report. New floors who dis?
12/24/2018

Progress report. New floors who dis?

SHIRTS ARE IN!  @ Country Corner
12/22/2018

SHIRTS ARE IN! @ Country Corner

So funny I had to repost! Merry Christmas 🎄
12/20/2018

So funny I had to repost! Merry Christmas 🎄

LESSSSS GOOOOO BEARS 🐻 GOOD LUCK MENLO ATHERTON!!!
12/16/2018

LESSSSS GOOOOO BEARS 🐻 GOOD LUCK MENLO ATHERTON!!!

PAPILLON! By @orinswift back in stock!!! Go check out the movie 🦋
12/12/2018

PAPILLON! By @orinswift back in stock!!! Go check out the movie 🦋

Stop by and bring an ornament for our tree 🌲🎁
12/05/2018

Stop by and bring an ornament for our tree 🌲🎁

Lol the 🐷 🐽
12/04/2018

Lol the 🐷 🐽

🇫🇷 Bordeaux for $39.99 ! Great for the holidays! 🍷
12/01/2018

🇫🇷 Bordeaux for $39.99 ! Great for the holidays! 🍷

Country Corner
11/24/2018

Country Corner

Courtesy of @freshsocietyco at #valleyfairmall liquor store @supremenewyork t-shirt
11/23/2018

Courtesy of @freshsocietyco at #valleyfairmall liquor store @supremenewyork t-shirt

New t-shirts and hoodies coming soon! Via @labseven.co  @ Country Corner
11/22/2018

New t-shirts and hoodies coming soon! Via @labseven.co @ Country Corner

If you love The Prisoner Wines… then get ready to be blown away by Dave Phinney’s First Zinfandel in 8 Years!Dave Ph...
11/16/2018

If you love The Prisoner Wines… then get ready to be blown away by Dave Phinney’s First Zinfandel in 8 Years!

Dave Phinney took a break from Zinfandel and its challenges. It would end up being an eight year break. Eight years in the desert. It was never if but when would he make Zinfandel again. That ‘when’ is NOW! Eight limited edition bottles with be released – one at a time – for the next eight years, every year in October. Each is adorned with a handcrafted label.

Feeling froggy 🐸? Then leap! Come check out our wine selection!!!
11/02/2018

Feeling froggy 🐸? Then leap! Come check out our wine selection!!!

Yé said it! #CountryCorner
10/29/2018

Yé said it! #CountryCorner

Ham&Swiss
10/28/2018

Ham&Swiss

WINTER IS HERE! I only have a few bottles. FCFS
10/26/2018

WINTER IS HERE! I only have a few bottles. FCFS

T-shirt or sticker?
10/25/2018

T-shirt or sticker?

CCMP
10/06/2018

CCMP

I absolutely positively need to get my hands on this bottle
10/05/2018

I absolutely positively need to get my hands on this bottle

I absolutely positively need to get my hands on this bottle
10/05/2018

I absolutely positively need to get my hands on this bottle

Address

3207 Alameda De Las Pulgas
Menlo Park, CA
94025

Opening Hours

Monday 07:15 - 20:00
Tuesday 07:15 - 20:00
Wednesday 07:15 - 20:00
Thursday 07:15 - 20:00
Friday 07:15 - 20:00
Saturday 08:30 - 20:00
Sunday 09:00 - 18:00

Telephone

(650) 854-4260

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