FAIRFIELD — At Alicia Connelly’s beach-side deli and pizza shop, her nephew is head chef and family members have inspired sandwich combinations and recipes.

The casual eatery that opened six months ago celebrated with a ribbon-cutting last month. Teal signs bearing the deli, pizza place and catering service’s name, D. Lish & Co., mark the location, on the corner of Fairfield Beach and Reef roads, one among a cluster of local spots.

Connelly spent years running — and two decades owning — The Country Store in Westport, a local deli and catering shop. Two years ago, she found it was time for a change and sold the business. One of the new owners had worked for Connelly when he was in high school, keeping The Country Store “in the family,” she said.

The family theme is clear in D. Lish & Co.’s operation and menu, featuring a best seller developed from a recipe from Connelly’s sister-in-law.

Connelly, a Bridgeport native, grew up around the restaurant and food business. Her grandfather owned a restaurant on State Street in Bridgeport, and her grandmother’s siblings owned candy shops downtown.

“Family business is all I’ve ever known,” she said. “Food has always been our thing.”

Q: Can you tell me a bit about D. Lish & Co. and why you wanted to open in this location?

A: Basically we just want to make good food. When we were in Westport we were just bogged down, because we sold gas and lottery and convenience store items. We just wanted to do food, strictly do food.

There’s a lot of college students down here, a lot of businesses around here, so we thought it was a perfect spot to just concentrate on food and get our name out there.

Q: Your nephew Anthony is serving as the head chef. Has it been a family effort?

A: Always. I have seven brothers and sisters so my business in Westport has always been relatives. Any of the outside stuff we do is always nieces and nephews helping us out.

Anthony went to culinary school, he’s a great guy and he makes the best food. So obviously he was my first choice.

Q: What are your favorite dishes he makes that you’ll be serving?

A: Any of the sandwiches that are just oddball sandwiches.

We do a Sunday dinner — so it’s a chicken cutlet with mashed potatoes and corn and gravy, kind of like we eat at my mother’s on a Sunday because we all go to my mother’s on Sunday.

We pretty much just took most of our sandwiches from that. We do a Thanksgiving dinner sandwich.

The funky stuff, the out-of-the-box kind of stuff.

Q: What do you think of the restaurant’s neighborhood?

A: It’s great. It’s low-key. Nobody’s in a rush; everybody’s polite. It’s like the beach atmosphere all the time.

Q: What was it like running and owning The Country Store in neighboring Westport for so many years?

A: That was crazy. That business was great — I’m not going to lie — it was fast-paced; we were right on the main road; it was a constant seven-day-a-week all day long adventure.

This is a little less stressful.

Lweiss@hearstmediact.com; @LauraEWeiss16