A journey that began far from the bustling streets of Chicago in the historic city of Odessa, Ukraine. Ninel Pompushko was born into a culture rich with tradition and storytelling. She arrived in the United States at age two, bringing the seeds of her future endeavors. Before the inception of The T-Shirt Deli, she honed her skills as an advertising copywriter. There, she learned the art of crafting messages that resonate and the importance of a narrative that connects. Her expertise in communication and her innate understanding of the human psyche became the foundation upon which The T-Shirt Deli brand was built. Ninel's vision was to create a space that wasn't just a store but a community hub, reminiscent of the warmth and camaraderie found in the Jewish delis of her heritage. A place where every custom t-shirt tells a story, every design is a conversation starter, and every customer leaves feeling like family. From the aroma of freshly printed t-shirts to the laughter shared over the counter, The T-Shirt Deli is more than just a business—it's a testament to Ninel's dream that crossed oceans and generations. She used her tremendous creativity, unlimited passion, and celebration of culture to turn that dream into a thriving business.
Our Head Chefs
At The T-Shirt Deli, Nicole Wilcek and Janet Luebbers shine as the dynamic duo of customer service excellence. As Head Chefs at the Deli, they embody a commitment to surpassing all expectations with every interaction. Nicole and Janet's dedication to making each encounter the highlight of our customers' days is evident in their unwavering attention to detail, talent and creativity, genuine warmth, and personalized approach. Their ability to create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere mirrors the essence of an authentic deli experience, where every customer is not just a patron but a cherished guest. With Nicole and Janet at the helm, our customers can always expect exceptional service that goes above and beyond, leaving them with not just a custom t-shirt but a memorable and delightful experience to cherish.
Denise Plumb brings a wealth of creativity and expertise to our team. After 25 years in Los Angeles she left behind her film production career and headed to the Midwest to embark on a new chapter of her life with Ninel and their family of five tiny dogs. Ten years ago, she took over The T-Shirt Deli website and transformed it into a platform that continues to evolve and improve under her guidance. Despite her reluctance to be in the spotlight, we captured a photo she approved for this feature—a testament to her humility and preference for working behind the scenes. Known for her Midas touch, everything Denise touches turns to gold, showcasing her exceptional skills in design and beyond.