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Heather Chancey

Learn more about the face behind The Village Deli, Cantina Locale, and Summerville Scoops

Augusta native Heather Chancey has been a familiar face in Augusta’s restaurant industry for almost twenty-eight years. “I started waiting tables downtown at the Cotton Patch when I was 17 or 18 years old,” says Heather. “From there, I’ve worked in several bars and restaurants around Augusta.”

In the last six years, Heather took ownership of Village Deli and opened Summerville Scoops and Cantina Locale, all in Augusta’s historic Daniel Village. “It was kind of the next step,” explains Heather. “If you’re going to stay in the restaurant business life-long, I think you have to own something at some point. I thought it was time and the opportunity came up, so I took it.”

Along the way, Heather found mentorship from several ladies, including Pam Clifton and Linda Uhl. “I’ve had an opportunity to work with some really solid females,” shares Heather. “I learned the fundamentals of business from them – consistency, structure, and organization in the restaurant industry. Linda, especially, has been a huge inspiration for me. She has been a wonderful support system.”

Heather also gives credit to her team of employees.  “I honestly could not do it without the team I have now,” says Heather. “I’m very fortunate to have the people who have worked in the deli for so many years and I’m equally as grateful for the team that helped me crank up Cantina in the middle of a pandemic.”

Each of Heather’s establishments has unique character and special flair, but all boast fresh ingredients sure to please the palette. Village Deli, which originally opened in 1988 and is known for serving hamburgers with meat ground fresh daily from Doug’s Meat Shop, came under Heather’s ownership in 2015. “I’ve worked off and on at the deli for twenty-one years,” shares Heather. “There’s a neighborhood feel – like everybody is family. Our serving staff really knows everyone on a first name basis. That’s the charm of it.” Inside, diners enjoy being surrounded by a variety of history memorabilia from Daniel Field airport across the street, Augusta’s golf legacy, and of the Daniel Village Shopping Center itself.

Heather opened Summerville Scoops in 2016 in the space that was the original site of the deli and was for years known for being a barber shop.  “I really wanted to see some dessert and kids come back to the shopping center,” says Heather. Ten flavors of ice cream are made fresh daily, including four staple flavors (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and maple bacon) and six flavors that rotate through customer favorites and new creations. Flavors are announced daily on the Summerville Scoops Facebook page. Hand-made cones and waffle chips round out this delicious experience.

Cantina Locale, with its fresh-Mex menu and authentic feel, opened in the fall of 2020. “All the ingredients are fresh,” says Heather. “The tacos are so creative and are served as tacos are supposed to be, with cold fresh ingredients and slightly warmer proteins.”  

Visitors to Cantina Locale enjoy special features in the design. “I designed the bar and the cabinetry,” says Heather, “and all of the glassware and the lighting came from Mexico.” “I turned the old breezeway into a giant patio and outdoor seating area,” continues Heather. “I have people once or twice a day saying how they rode their bikes through the breezeway when they were growing up around Daniel Village.”

Heather’s strives to use locally owned and operated businesses like Alan Teasley with Knock on Wood and interior designer Wesley Cadle when making renovations such as those done at Cantina Locale.

With the continuation of Village Deli and the addition of Summerville Scoops and Cantina Locale to Daniel Village, Heather has taken and active role in the revitalization of an area she loves. “I lived in Atlanta for five and a half years and as much as I love Atlanta,” says Heather, “it was nice to come back home – pretty much where everyone knows your name.”

“The surrounding neighborhoods are so supportive of Daniel Village,” shares Heather, “and I would say that a lot of people still in these neighborhoods grew up right here and they are used to patronizing everything in Daniel Village.” Heather enjoys giving back to the community through support of local schools and plans to have more events that incorporate the community.  

Stop in at each of Heather’s three eateries, which are all located in Daniel Village, 2803 Wrightsboro Road. Find each one on social media for daily specials and visit each website for more detailed information: www.villagedeliaugusta.com, www.summervillescoops.com, cantinalocale.com.

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