The signs on the local restaurant will remain the same, Marsha’s Great Plans Deli, but the owners have changed.
Owner Marsha Lancaster died on September 19, 2021, and on October 13, her siblings became the owners of her decades-running restaurant.
The restaurant will be called Lancaster’s Great Plain Deli.
Debbie Baxley, Tom Lancaster, and Don Lancaster all of Fort Scott and Carolyn Washburn, Alaska, Marsha’s brothers, and sisters, are the new owners.
“We are going to keep the signs that say Marsha’s Deli, but the business will be called Lancaster Great Plains Deli,” Baxley said.
“The last time we saw her (before she died), she said she wanted us to keep it going,” she said.
Baxley and her daughter, Shelly Rowe, are the restaurant managers.
They have recently created a new menu, dropping some options that didn’t have enough sales.
The family raised the price of their meats.
“Our prices went up on the meat price,” Baxley said. “All of our providers of meat by the pound raised their prices.”
“Marsha hadn’t raised prices in years,” she said.
“An example, like roast beef it is $7.75 per pound when we buy it but we were selling it for $6,” Rowe said. “But now it has gone up again and we are paying a little over $10.”
Family Deaths and the Pandemic
They were closed for three weeks following Marsha’s death, and the death of another family member soon after.
Since then they have been working on the paperwork involved in the new business and grieving their losses, Baxley said.
“All the people that work here have been with Marsha for over 20 years,” Rowe said.
They have had difficulty finding more employees, as many businesses have during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Baxley said.
The pandemic protocols of wiping down menus after each use, along with cleaning the chairs, after each use, etc. have increased the labor involved in running a restaurant, Baxley said.
The family has been using a walk-up order window since the pandemic began, Baxley said.
As of today, November 1, people will be able to come in and order, but won’t be able to sit and eat the food as the restaurant, Rowe said.
“We didn’t want people to stand in the cold outside to order,” Baxley said.
They currently have six employees. Martha’s three siblings in Fort Scott, along with Rowe, help out as needed, Rowe said.
“We are a tight-knit family, if we need help, we can call on others,” Rowe said.
Rowe said the re-opening of the restaurant on Oct. 13, following the death of Marsha was very busy.
“The first three days we re-opened, we ran out of bread, we were so busy,” Rowe said. “Everybody was so glad to have us back. It made us feel good the community is happy, wanting us to keep it going.”
Locally known for the size of their sandwiches
“Our big sandwiches are what we are known for,” Rowe said. “The meats on the sandwiches are stacked.”
“If you don’t get full, it’s your fault,” Baxley said.
The most asked for sandwich is #25, The Marsha, Rowe said. The sandwich includes turkey, ham, salami with cheddar cheese. “That was her favorite and everybody loved it.”
Marsha named all her sandwiches after family members.
Marsha Lancaster took over the business called the Great Plains Deli in 2002. “She worked here before she owned it,” Rowe said. “She put her name in front of it.”
The hours of operation are 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information or to place an order: 620.223.6432.
Lancaster’s Great Plains Deli delivers to homes and businesses.