Mahwah is preparing to get her 15 minutes of fame.
Producers are keeping the premise of the commercial, when it will air, and other details about the production of the 30-second ad under wraps, but they do say the Mahwah deli provided the perfect backdrop for the commercial.
“The location really is a character in itself for the commercial,” Teddy Yoon, the owner of Majestic Hour productions who is acting as the Location Manager for the shoot, said. “Without the right location, you really have nothing.”
Yoon, who lives in Wyckoff and graduated from Ramapo High School, said he was hired to find the perfect place for the commercial to be filmed. He said he pitched 30 different delis across the tri-state area, but knew that a Bergen County location would be ideal for the feel of this particular ad.
“I am a Jersey guy, so I always try to pitch places here. I want to bring all the benefits and commerce [of shooting a commercial] to our local towns,” Yoon said.
Executives at Pepsi whittled down Yoon’s 30 options to three – The Store in Ramsey, Park Deli in Midland Park, and the Fardale Deli and Mini Mart.
“They choose this location because the look was exactly right, and the size worked; it is big enough to fit all of the production equipment and crews in here.”
Though Yoon says the setup at the deli is small compared to other production jobs he’s worked on, he said 40-50 staff members are on site in Mahwah to film the commercial. The production includes a slate of actors, but don’t stop by looking for any big name celebs. According to Yoon, the big star of the commercial is the Pepsi.
All of the filming is happening inside the deli, and members of the Patel family that owns the deli – as well as The Store and the Park Deli - say they were inside Thursday to get a sneak peek of the shooting.
“They could have done this commercial anywhere, and they chose to do it here,” Ronak Patel said Friday morning. “We feel very lucky that they chose us.”
Patel also said his family hopes the commercial “will reflect well on Mahwah. All of our customers are passing by to see what’s happening, it’s exciting. It’s good for the town.”
Patel said the filming has also been a pick-me-up after the deli was burglarized last weekend. "Good things always come, it always works out," he said.
Yoon said he’d be happy to come back to the township for future projects, once filming on the Pepsi commercial wraps Friday afternoon.
“Mahwah keeps to all of its ordinances, but everyone was very understanding and helpful in meeting our tight deadlines and things like that,” Yoon, who said it took about two weeks to plan out the shooting, said. “It was easy to come here, and this location provides a beautiful aesthetic.”