Following the Leader

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Celebrated Burbank deli owner dies at 77

with 6 comments

GENERATIONS-1.08042003.RW

Thomas Huber and father, Otto, who founded Otto's Import Store and Delicatessen in Burbank. (Roger Wilson/The Leader)

Otto Huber, the founder and 40-year owner of Otto’s Import Store and Delicatessen, died of natural causes at his Burbank home. He was 77.

Burbank Police Sgt. Robert Quesada confirmed Huber’s passing Thursday morning after officers found no signs of foul play at his home in the 400 block of N. Brighton St.

Remembered by friends and family as a gregarious shopkeeper and devoted father, Huber was among the last remaining holdouts from a bygone era where family run businesses were the norm.

Accordion in hand, Otto serenaded generations of residents, introducing them to European fare. Among his loyal customers were John Burroughs High School students, some of whom joined an online fan page called “OTTO’S DELI/BURBANK.”

The Facebook group includes messages such as “And on the way home from Lincoln each day…” and “Daily lunch from ’81-’84. Ham and cheese with extra mayo. I am not down that way often, but stop in every time I am.”

Founded in 1969 by Huber and his wife, Irma, the deli began an old- fashioned corner grocery store. The Hubers then began to incorporate specialty foods for family and friends.

In the late 1990s Huber officially ceded ownership of the popular market at 2320 W. Clark Ave. to his son, Thomas, who had returned to the business full-time after his mother died in 1993.

“Where else can I spend 40 hours a week with my father?” Thomas Huber told the Leader in 2003. “Nowhere.”

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Written by Christopher Cadelago

October 8, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Posted in Business, Public Safety

Tagged with ,

6 Responses

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  1. […] Current poll:  Otto Huber, the founder and 40-year owner of Otto’s Import Store and Delicatessen, died of natural… […]

  2. Thank you for the beautifully written article.

    Erika (Otto’s Daughter)

    Erika Quiel (Huber) Otto's Daughter

    October 9, 2009 at 12:10 pm

  3. I have been stopping by Otto’s since I was about 10.

    Drew Engman

    October 11, 2009 at 4:42 pm

  4. […] Times Community News 4:41 pm on October 12, 2009 Reply Poll results: Otto Huber, the founder and 40-year owner of Otto’s Import Store and Delicatessen, died. He was 77… […]

  5. I’ve been shopping at Otto’s for over 30 yrs and we’ve
    talked a lot with him. His wife Irma was a magnificent lady, full of charms and beauty. Her sudden loss shocked me.
    Now – Otto’s loss is even more shocking. A wonderful man and a good hungarian,irreplacable.
    I was just planning to go to his shop last week when
    I read the news in the Magyar Hirlap…My son Sanyi
    said that I must be joking. I’ve lived in Pasadena since I moved to California from New York and Otto’s
    was part of our family always. Now what?! Continue the
    business Tom. I live in Bakersfield the past 9 yrs,but
    my son and I drove to Burbank pretty often to buy the
    old country magyar goodies and have a nice chat.

    I’ll miss him, – his memory will live forever.
    Rest in peace Otto, Isten veled…A unique Hun!

    Alex J. Nemeth and son

    Alex Nemeth

    October 17, 2009 at 11:11 am

  6. Just found out…..sorry to here about Otto’s death…..i grew up in Burbank and have many fond memories of Otto and his Deli…..

    Kenny

    November 3, 2009 at 6:52 pm


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