Our Story ....
Heidi Bendiksen Naples and Steve Naples came to Colorado from the neighborhood of Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, New York in 1990. While Denver was a great place to feed their spirit, finding great bagels and good sandwich shops was a whole different story. Heidi's Brooklyn Deli started as a bagel and ice cream store in a small 1400 sq ft space in a 100 year old building in the Highlands neighborhood of Denver, Colorado. "Heidi's Bagels and Ice Cream" later named "Heidi's Brooklyn Deli" was opened September 9, 1994.
With a lot of hard work and a little luck, Heidi's Brooklyn Deli, by 1997, grew from a 1400 sq. ft. shop, selling only bagels and ice cream and a few sandwiches to a 3500 sq. ft., full deli selling over 35 of the best sandwiches around, all on FRESH BREAD, BAKED DAILY IN-HOUSE, salads, soups, wraps, smoothies, desserts, breakfast and of course, daily fresh baked bagels. In May of 1999, Steve and Heidi opened the second Heidi's Brooklyn Deli in the northern suburb of Denver called Northglenn. The first franchise location opened in March of 2005 south of Denver in Lone Tree, Colorado. Still family-owned today, with 15 franchises open nationally, 9 of which are located in Colorado, Heidi's Brooklyn Deli continues to grow
The future of Heidi's Brooklyn Deli is very bright with the leadership team choosing to keep their visions and goals in line with their social and ethical beliefs by electing to pursue the highest-quality, natural products available starting with the proteins and cheeses they source. The products are nitrate and nitrite free, hormone and antibiotic free, grass fed, humanely raised and non-GMO whenever possible. They have partnered with Perdue/Harvestland Poultry, Old World Provisions, Fra'Mani Meats and Rumiano Cheese Company to name a few. They also decided to expand their menu to serve a broad spectrum of patrons by adding vegetarian, vegan and gluten free selections.
Heidi, her daughters Jenee and Juliana, along with their incredible franchisees and staff work hard everyday to create a memorable experience offering the highest-quality products and neighborly service to their patrons. They are proud to be 'Born in Brooklyn and Raised in Colorado'.
Visit us at www.heidisbrooklyndeli.com to view our locations and learn more about our story!
Our Executive Team
Heidi Bendiksen Naples, Co-Founder
Heidi Bendiksen Naples was born in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York. As a young child her parents left the city and moved to the countryside of New Jersey. She grew up spending her childhood and teen years in Lake Hopatcong, swimming in the summer and ice skating in the winter. In High School she lettered in Track and Field and participated in Theatre and Choir where she met her partner, Steve Naples.
Heidi then attended Montclair State University and graduated with a BA in Psychology. After graduation, Heidi and Steve moved back to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn where they enjoyed the culture, the people and, of course, the food of NYC for six years. While living in Brooklyn, they married. After six years in Brooklyn, the moved to Upstate New York where they spent a brief time and had their first daughter, Jenee. When Jenee was 4 months old, they made the move to Denver, Colorado as Steve had the opportunity to work for 9 News.
The family searched for 9 months for a home and found themselves repeatedly being drawn back to the Highlands neighborhood as it reminded them of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Although the Highlands looked nothing like it does today, the victorian brick homes and retail buildings brought them back to their roots. The thing they missed most was the diverse and delicious foods they remembered from Brooklyn.
After working tirelessly on their 1890 Victorian Home, the merchant district three blocks away called to them. Shortly after the birth of their second daughter, Juliana, Heidi and Steve began their adventure of opening Heidi's Bagels and Ice Cream in 1994. The shop was a huge success in the growing neighborhood.
They expanded their concept to Heidi's Brooklyn Deli and in 1997, they doubled their space. By 2004, they had built and were operating 5 locations in the Denver Metro Area.
Like many family businesses, Jenee and Juliana grew up at the knees of Steve and Heidi running the business with office on their dining room table at home. This was when they realized they needed to find balance in their lives with family. So the decision to franchise their concept was made.
The first franchises were sold in 2005 primarily in Colorado and surprisingly in a few other states. Many of those original stores are still in operation today.
Through the challenging economy of 2008 to present, the concept has been refined and redesigned with a look to the future to grow to be the premier sandwich deli in the United States.
One thing that will never change is the fresh baked bread made daily from scratch and the quality recipes and ingredients that were inspired by their years spent growing up on the east coast.
Although Heidi and Steve no longer live together, they remain good friends.
Heidi and their older daughter Jenee bought out Steve's shares of the company in June of 2018.
Heidi remains active in the business and has focused her attention toward the brands community involvement and mentoring small business owners.
Jenee Naples Massey,
President & CEO
Naples Franchising Systems, Inc. was founded in 1994 by Steve and Heidi Naples, Jenee's parents.
She has spent her entire life in and around the family brand, Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli with a combined 16 years of experience working in all facets of the FOH food service industry.
In June of 2011, Jenee became the Director of Franchise and Vendor Relations for Naples Franchising Systems. She maintained and grew the relationships
with all franchisees in the network across six states.
During her time in this role, Jenee was the corporate trainer for seven store openings and was the lead project manager and trainer on three new builds, one at DIA, Terminal B in Denver, Colorado, one in South Portland, Maine and one in Brighton, Colorado.
From May of 2012 through March of 2017, Jenee oversaw the project of transitioning 10+ 'conventional' key products to 'clean' label products totaling approximately one million pounds of product annually. She worked closely with key franchisees and distribution and manufacturing partners to establish distribution channels, determine manageable pallet sizes and negotiate market stable pricing down to the consumer.
She handled the relationships with 40+ vendors and manufactures including monitoring the distribution channels across six states and negotiating pricing and programs.
In February 2016, Jenee opened her own franchise location in Brighton, Colorado and now has almost eight years of experience as a franchisee herself.
In the fall of 2017 she was promoted to President and established the first C-store franchisee partnership for the brand. She spearheaded the project and the brand opened its first C-store location in November 2017 in Moorcroft, Wyoming. In the spring of 2021, Jenee spearheaded the project of opening the brand's second C-store location with with two additional locations slated for opening Winter 2023 and Summer 2024.
Jenee became the CEO in June 2018.
In her downtime, Jenee loves to explore the Rocky Mountains with her wonderful husband Trevor and their three amazing children, Hanalyn, Donovan and Sullivan.
Bookkeeping & Executive Administrator
Manager of Operations & Franchise Relations
Juliana is the younger daughter of our Co-founders. She was 9 months old when the first Heidi's Brooklyn Deli opened and has been immersed in the family business her entire life. Before she could walk she would sit at the register greeting customers as Heidi would ring them up.
Once she turned 16, Juliana was on the front lines making sandwiches with the best of them. Then in 2011, at age 17, Juliana took over the role of bookkeeper for the corporate company. She taught herself to use Quickbooks and has continued to develop her skills as a bookkeeper since then.
In 2014 Juliana moved to London to pursue a degree in Digital Film Production, she then continued onto a post-graduate degree and in 2018 graduated from the University of Greenwich in London with her Master's in Film Production. In addition to her studies, Juliana kept up her responsibilities as Bookkeeper and Executive Administrator of the Leadership Team.
Now that she has returned to Colorado, Juliana is still handling the bookkeeping and administrative tasks, while also managing our social media and marketing efforts. She wants to merge her passion for filmmaking with Heidi's Brooklyn Deli and has created her own production company to begin strategizing both local and national marketing campaigns.
In her free time, Juliana enjoys traveling, writing scripts, reading, watching movies, playing piano, singing, and spending time with friends/family.
Executive Administrator & Manager of Vendor Relations
Travis was born and raised in Pagosa Springs, CO. During middle school, Travis and his sisters would go to their mom’s place of work while she finished her shift as the head waitress. This is where he started his journey in the food/hospitality business. During his high school years, he worked at multiple restaurants at the same time to gain valuable experience.
After high school Travis attended CU Denver where he earned his degree in Business Administration with an emphasis on business management. Before his final semester at CU Denver, he interned at a local French restaurant in Pagosa Springs, CO where he and the GM worked side-by-side. This was his first experience leading a team.
In 2017, he graduated from CU Denver and took a small detour from the restaurant industry and became a GM in the retail industry. In 2020, Travis left his role as a GM and started working for Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli. When he started, he was the Assistant GM at their Brighton, CO location. In 2021 he joined the corporate office part time as the Manager of Vendor Relations where he gained rapport with our partners. In June 2022, he joined the corporate office full time and was promoted to Executive Administrator. Being able to grow with a company is super important to him as well as finding a place that feels like a second home and he has found that working here. Travis enjoys working hard, especially with a team that supports one another. He cannot imagine working anywhere else.
During his free time, Travis enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching movies/ tv series and has a new passion for running.
Raised in Denver, Colorado, Jacob Stringfellow’s passion for food and hospitality started at an early age; learning to cook with his dad and starting his first restaurant job at 14. He developed a serious interest in the service and hospitality industry after working in a diverse multitude of restaurants while attending school.
Originally as a summer job, Jacob began working at Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli in the spring of 2016. He began working at the Brighton location just as Jenee Naples Massey had taken ownership of the store. Jacob quickly was enamored by Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli's values and beliefs to pursue the highest-quality, natural, and freshest ingredients possible – including made-from-scratch bread, baked daily in-house.
Jacob would continue to come back for the summer to work at Heidi’s and fulfill his passion for food and hospitality while he attended the University of Colorado Boulder, majoring in International Affairs and Political Science, and minoring in Spanish.
After graduating from CU, an opportunity arose to return to Heidi’s once again, this time at the corporate level. Jacob would go on to help manage the Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli Test Kitchen store, located in Northglenn inside of the O’Meara Ford Dealership. He would play a crucial role in helping the store endure Covid-19 before moving to the corporate office full time.
Jacob’s role with Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli has now evolved to Manager of Operations and Franchise Relations. He has developed a relationship with franchisees as a point of contact regarding any operational assistance.
Additionally, he has been responsible for revamping all operational manuals, as well as developing new training materials for existing/future stores.
In his free time, Jacob enjoys spending time cooking/baking new dishes, playing music, and living an active lifestyle.
Territory Operations Manager
Gigi moved to Colorado in early 2000 from her home state of Arizona.
She has spent over 25 years in the foodservice industry in various leadership roles.
Gigi joined the Heidi's Family as the Kitchen Manager of Heidi's Test Kitchen in Spring of 2021. She expanded in her role very quickly and transitioned to become the General Manager of the Flagship Corporate Location in Brighton, Colorado. This location flourished under her leadership.
Gigi was promoted to the role of Territory Manager in January 2023. She will lead the team of General Managers for the brands' corporate locations along the Front Range in Colorado.
Gigi is also a key member of the corporate operations team contributing to the ever-improving systems of the brand.
In her free time, Gigi enjoys outdoor adventures like four wheeling in the Rocky Mountains with her husband and doting on her darling pups.
Hermi joined the Heidi's Family in 2004 at just fifteen years old as a team member of the first flagship Heidi's Brooklyn Deli location in the Highlands neighborhood in Denver, Colorado. He worked in every role and his experience widened over the years to eventually work in and or train and open over six corporate locations over the years.
Hermi brings a love and passion for the brand that is unmatched. He brings a unique background knowledge of the brand to his work as a trainer. Hermi is an incredible teacher and corporate trainer.
Hermi also contributes regularly to brand operations and is a key member of the corporate operations team contributing to the ever-improving systems of the brand.
Hermi is family being a part of the brand for over 20 years.