New owners Catherine Clarke and Susan Raposo pose during a brief stop in the action at Susan's Delicatessen on Main Street in Markdale.
BY SOUTHGREY.CA STAFF — It's no big surprise that new owners Catherine Clarke and Susan (Suzie) Raposo gave a big nod of appreciation to previous owners by maintaining the well-known name of their Markdale shop. Susan's Delicatessen had been a fixture of the town's Main Street for almost 50 years before closing down just a few years ago.
Over time, the little café/imported food and gift shop had established a niche, serving delicious deli meats, sandwiches and hard-to-find European pantry items. It had survived ownership changes before, always managing to keep a soft place in the hearts of shoppers throughout the entire area.
That reputation and word-of-mouth news that the beloved deli would soon be open again, may have helped attract a steady crowd during opening day. On Saturday, September 12, Clarke and Raposo welcomed customers to their business for the first time. "We started off with a bang," said Suzie, describing the onslaught of patrons through their doors. "It was very busy." ...And the hard-working pair loved every minute of it!
Although the weekend was a sort-of, trial-by-fire for the fledgling entrepreneurs, it provided the couple with valuable information to move the business forward. "We received amazing feedback — pastries sold, sandwiches in hungry bellies and our homemade raspberry iced tea was a hit!" the owners exclaimed on Susan's Delicatessen Facebook page. A bigger, more well-advertised grand opening is in the works.
A delicious hot and melty breakfast sandwich is revealed for a hungry customer.
Previous experience at two other popular food locations in Grey Highlands — Justin's Oven and The Bakery — have given the owners a distinguished pedigree and set the bar high for what's to come. Looking over the menu, it can be said that if you didn't have an appetite walking into the place, you are sure to develop one, the longer you stay. A selection of hoagies — basically, an elevated submarine sandwich on a crusty bun — are offered, loaded with a variety of meat and/or vegetable toppings and condiments. Fresh, mouth-watering baked goods like muffins, cookies and tarts, all prepared on-site, will keep you coming back time and time again. Hint: if you want to partake of the Portugese Custard Tarts, you'd better get them early or they will be gone, just as they were sold out on Saturday!
Smoothies and drinks are also available to quench that thirst. Frozen dinners, Donna's Pies and many unique Eastern European products can be taken home to enjoy later. Soups and salads round out the selection of items for taking-out or dining-in, with student lunch specials daily.
Locally-sourced products and ingredients are the rule for Catherine and Suzie, who continue to populate their shelves and are actively looking for high quality, locally-produced items to fill up the store. Italian pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh, organic, locally-roasted Farmers' Coffee are just some of the tasty pleasures you will find here. There is even a small selection of Old-timey candies to bring back glorious memories of days gone by.
Susan's Delicatessen is located on Main Street West in Markdale. Open daily from 8 am until 5:30 pm, Catherine and Suzie have decided to close the shop on Wednesdays. Be sure to drop by and welcome them to the community.
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