With only $200, Bobby and Jamie Deen together with their newly-divorced mother in June 1989 launched a home-based lunch delivery service called The Bag Lady. Their mother made the sandwiches, and the boys sold them to local businesses. Two years later, with The Bag Lady growing too large for a home-based operation, the Deens opened a restaurant in Savannah, Ga., called The Lady. In January 1996, the restaurant moved to a larger space and was renamed The Lady and Sons.
“What had started as homemade tuna fish sandwiches had become a downtown highlight in Savannah’s City Market, satisfying celebrity clientele and thousands of Savannah visitors seeking out the Deen family’s world-famous fried chicken,” the Grain Foods Foundation said.
Judi Adams, G.F.F. president, said the brothers’ “modest sandwich beginnings and strong devotion to family” make them ideal representatives for the Sandwich Night campaign. The fall effort will encourage families to stay home any night and make sandwiches for dinner.
In addition to starring in a Food Network program, the Deen brothers are working on a cookbook together while managing The Lady and Sons. They reside in Savannah.
The foundation campaign, with the tagline, “Make any night Sandwich Night,” will encourage consumers to share their own sandwich recipes and tips by incentivizing them to win a Sandwich Night with the Deen Brothers through facebook.com/gowiththegrain. The campaign launches Sept. 20 with national media relations and social media outreach as well as print and on-line advertising on several popular women’s sites, including FoodNetwork.com, CookingChannel.com, Yahoo and Facebook.