Restaurant Review

Talk of the Towne: Feeding the Millerton Community for 18 Years

By Published On: June 27th, 2024

If you’re familiar with Millerton, NY, then chances are, you’re also familiar with the Talk of the Towne deli, located off Route 44 near the NY/CT border. 

Sisters Mary Hosier and Sandy Sherman the owners of Talk of the Towne, are no strangers to food service. They previously ran the Village Diner in Millerton for 13 years and a food wagon at the corner of Route 199 and Route 22 for four and a half years. 

18 years ago, they decided it would be a great time to open another establishment, and the Talk of the Towne was born. 

How did they come up with the name, you ask? “We were trying to figure out what to call it, and it was the talk of the town that we were opening up the place, so we figured we might as well just call it that!” Mary shared. 

Another business was registered under the same name in Dutchess County at the time, so they had to add an ‘e’ to the end of town in order to register their LLC. 

If you’ve ever been inside Talk of the Towne, one thing you’ll notice is the assortment of signs that adorn the walls. With phrases like “Husband for sale. Remote included,” “Going out of my mind, be back in five minutes,” and “Do you want to talk to the man in charge or the woman who knows what’s going on?” they’re certainly memorable. 

They started out with just one sign that Mary purchased to hang on the wall behind the front counter. She wanted to hang it up because she wanted to ensure that they would receive respect from customers, as those who work in the industry sometimes bear the brunt of customers’ poor attitudes. 

“My sister was a little apprehensive, but I said ‘hell yeah, we’re doing it,’ and people just loved them,” Mary said. 

Now, many of their regular customers will give Mary unique, sarcastic, and witty signs that they find when they’re out and about. They have so many that they’re starting to run out of real estate space on the walls of the deli. 

Fresh is best

After all these years, coming up with specials is not easy. Mary knows what their customers like, so she has an assortment of specials that she knows do well. For additional inspiration, she looks to Pinterest and to the idea sheets that they get from Boar’s Head. 

“At the diner, we didn’t do wraps. We’ve changed our menu to sell the items that we know people are looking for,” she said. “We’re here for the people. They know they can afford to eat here and that they’ll get what they’re looking for – and plenty of it, too.” 

They make everything fresh at the deli every day. In addition to all of the items on the menu, you can also always find chili, soup, and freshly baked cookies and other pastries on the daily rotation. I’ll note that we over here at Main Street are very big fans of their cookies. 

Talk of the Towne sources its eggs from Feather Ridge Farm in Elizaville, NY, and all of its bread comes in from a bakery in New York City each morning. It also gets fresh burger meat regularly and makes its own burger patties. Fresh, never frozen is the belief at the deli. 

All in the family

You could say that Talk of the Towne is a bit of a family business as well. Mary and Sandy run it on a day-to-day basis, and their father has worked as their delivery driver since they opened. 

“My history has been with food for my whole life,” Mary said. She started working in restaurants at age 16, and her family got the diner when she was 19 years old. Her daughter also comes into the deli to help out on a regular basis and does a lot of the baking – she’s particularly well-known for her cheesecakes. 

Like any business, running the deli doesn’t come without significant challenges, and like many other local businesses in the post-pandemic era, the Talk of the Towne’s biggest challenge is staffing. “It’s really hard these days to find staff,” Mary shared. 

Community first

Mary’s favorite part of her work is getting to interact with her community. “I think it takes a certain type of person to run a business successfully,” she said. “There’s a difference between an owner and an employee. We close at 2:30, but if someone comes in at 2:45 and wants a sandwich, I’ll make it. I’m there for the people. That’s my favorite part.” 

Mary also stressed that they are there to serve the community, and their doors are always open in times of emergencies. “We’ve helped out the firehouse a few times, and we’re always willing to do so when they need us. If there’s an emergency and anyone needs us to open up for coffee or something in the middle of the night because people need somewhere warm to be, I’ll do it in a heartbeat.” 

As Mary and I sat in the deli just before it closed, I asked her what it feels like to be such a staple in the community. “It feels pretty damn good,” she smiled. “We worked hard to get that reputation.” 

Going forward, Mary sees much of the same for the Talk of the Towne. “We want to stay here and continue serving the people of Millerton. I think I’m just going to idle here until I retire.” 

Not anytime soon I hope? “Not yet,” she grinned.

The Talk of the Towne deli is open Monday through Saturday from 6:30am to 2:30pm. Call to order (518) 789-8255 or visit it on Facebook at Talk of the Towne Deli.