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Texas Country Reporter TV show features Fossati's Deli

July 6, 2011 at 2:06 a.m.

Bob Phillips, host of Texas Country Reporter, center, talks with Cathy Wyatt, a co-owner of Fossati's Delicatessen, right, while Dan Stricklin, a photographer/producer of the show, films Wednesday at the restaurant. Phillips and his crew were in town filming the restaurant for their upcoming season of the television show.

Local fame and history crossed paths Wednesday in downtown Victoria.

There, patrons at Fossati's Delicatessen clamored for autographs and photos with Texas Country Reporter host Bob Phillips.

Fossati's deli will be featured in an episode of the TV show during the fall. The segment will focus on Fossati's status as the oldest delicatessen in Texas.

"One of the reasons we picked Fossati's is because it is a record setter," Phillips said.

While interviewing patrons at Fossati's, Phillips said he came across several other potential stories in the Victoria area.

"We'll probably need to plan a separate trip out here," Phillips said.

He spoke with regular customers about how much they like Fossati's and why they choose to eat there.

Fossati's draws people from all walks of life - couples go to have a quiet date, girl friends meet to chat, businessmen take a break and families enjoy the homey atmosphere.

The oldest delicatessen in the state is an attraction to local residents and those visiting from out of town.

Fossati's was founded in 1882 by Fraschio "Frank" Napoleon Fossati and has been passed down through the Fossati family since.

It is owned by seven of Fossati's grandchildren, and two of them work on site.

Cathy Wyatt, 67, of Victoria, and her twin sister, Therese Bomersbach, took over the deli after their uncle owned it, renting it out from 1977 to 1987. During the time Fossati's was rented out, it maintained the original menu items.

The sisters made repairs and renovations and certified the building as a historical marker.

"It was Cathy's idea originally," Bomersbach said. "We reopened officially in September of 1987."

All seven of the Fossati grandchildren invest financially to keep the business running and Bomersbach works at the deli two weekdays and Wyatt works the other three.

The sisters' cousin, JoAnne Hough, 74, of Victoria, who was raised with the Fossati children also works in the deli.

As the Texas Country Reporter wrapped up its filming of Fossati's, one patron seated in the back room of the deli didn't want to miss out.

"The Texas Country Reporter is here?" said Cindy Schneider, 60, of Victoria, an avid watcher of the show. "We should have sat out there where the action is. Let's go get a picture with him!"

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