WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) —Known for its east coast style cuisine with a small town vibe, The Deli Planet & Drinkery is beloved by native Wichitans and travelers alike.
Established in 1997 and located right next door to Sheppard Air Force Base, this family-friendly eatery owned by Eric and Rebecca Rutledge, pride themselves on being that favorite neighborhood restaurant and the home of the locally famous, wholesome Hoagie!
“Our main, number one seller of course is our Hoagies that we sell,” says Rebecca, “what makes it the Hoagie is that signature Hoagie vinaigrette dressing that we blend and it’s been a part of the recipe with Subs and Suds and Deli Planet for 32 years!
It’s no wonder that this restaurant, that’s equipped with unique staples like pulled pork or buffalo chicken kickin’ mac n cheese, or the build-your-own menu is part why Deli Planet cranks out about 120 to go orders on a busy lunch day. Yet, their love for this community is also what makes them out of this world!
“We do lots of different fundraisers throughout the year with the airmen, a lot with the military, just to help those who need that extra funding to get their cause completed,” says Rebecca. One of their most notable events they put on every year is the Thanksgiving dinner they host for airmen who are home away from home during the holidays. Sadly due to COVID-19, Rebecca says that will not be happening this year.
Deli Planet’s most recent charity event, helped a young girl who’s been living with a life-threatening disorder. At only three weeks old, Addy Mann was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, a disease that damages the lungs and digestive system.
“It can make your lungs very sick and so it’s hard for me to breath sometimes when you have this disease,” says Addy.
CF is the most common genetic and fatal disease that affects children in the US. “What COVID does to a healthy person, Addy’s already dealing with,” says Addy’s mom, Whitney Mann. “It’s scary, it’s a very progressive disease and there’s no cure as we know.”
Addy takes more than 20 medications a day and receives regular treatments to keep the disease at bay for as long as she can. However, hope for the 10-year-old and others like her with CF has grown, after Whitney and others created Addy’s Avengers to help raise awareness and money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
“She was obsessed with Captain America for the longest time so we’re like Addy…Addy’s Avengers, that kind of flowed,” says Whitney.
Addy says she hopes her organization can help provide answers for those who have or know someone who has CF, and get one step closer to finding a cure for this disease.
“Just in case they have a daughter or sister or someone that they know that has CF, they should know what to do when they get very sick and have to go to the hospital, they should know what to do,” says Addy.
Even while operating at reduced capacity during this pandemic, Rebecca asks customers to wear face masks to protect people like Addy, and has also pledged to continue donating 15% of all the restaurant’s proceeds to causes that truly matter.
“There’s not a lot of options for places to go and they’re like family to us,” says Rebecca, “so we wanted to make sure that she reached her goal this year so we reached out to her and said let’s do another one.”
With the help of great places like Deli Planet and charitable owners like Rebecca, Addy can continue living life like the super hero she is!
If you’d like to know more or donate to Addy’s Avengers, click here.
If you’d like to see Deli Planet’s menu or contact them, click here.