There is something about cool, crisp almost fall air that screams pumpkin spice, lattes and dollops of whipping cream.
Salute Coffee Company is one-week into the pumpkin spice and everything nice season with its autumn menu. Launching at the start of a new academic year, the pumpkin spice doesn’t just stop with a latte. The new menu also includes pumpkin cream cheese muffins, tea lattes and scones.
“I dare say, our pumpkin spice is the best in the city. It features real pumpkin and real spice with no artificial syrups. And it matches a stunning Sudbury fall season,” owner Tania Renelli said.
Renelli knows her coffee.
Ten years ago, she was living the big city life in the publishing industry as a book buyer for national retailers in Toronto. When she was not living the rat race, she was blissfully in love with the coffee culture, enjoying almond danishes at mom and pop coffee shops.
And then, born out of that love for coffee. She relocated to Sudbury and saw no locally owned shop to serve high-quality coffee in the South End. And so, Salute Coffee Company was born on Armstrong Street seven years ago.
Since then, a downtown location has opened and closed with the Kingsway location replacing it in May of this year. This new location helped redefine the Sudbury Deluxe hamburger joint landmark that closed a few years ago.
Coffee aside, Renelli considers herself a foodie and wants a healthy menu that she can be proud of each day.
You’d never know it but the chocolate cake is made with almonds and beets. The peanut butter protein balls are also a favourite, especially when you are skirting through the drive-thru window and looking for a quick bite to eat.
Renelli is also community minded in her approach to business. The eggs are from free-range chickens. The maple syrup from a sugar bush in Gore Bay. The buns are from Golden Grain downtown.
The storefront often features local pottery and Finnia Chocolates from Manitoulin Island. Near Nature Florals takes care of the interior decorations.
“I always tell people that when they support Salute, they are supporting about 15 other local businesses or charities,” Renelli said.
As for her favourites, Renelli craves an Americano that is iced in the summer and hot in the winter with low fat cold foam. Her favourite sandwich is the egg frittata with prosciutto and garlic tomato aioli.
She said the new meatball sandwich is trending with customers with its extra-lean ground meat and fresh chunks of parmesan ground-up on site. Homemade soups are also a crowd-pleaser in the cooler months.
Renelli credits the strength of her enterprise to the magic of the floor and kitchen staff. She calls shareholder and manager Stephanie Grabish her “work wife.”
“We often get notes, texts and shout outs. The community is behind us and that is what makes us stronger,” she said.
The team is already prepping for what comes after the pumpkin spice season. Cue the wafting ginger spice through the drive thru in just a few more week’s time.
Salute Coffee Company (two locations)
1137 The Kingsway
Hours of Operation
Weekdays: 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
Saturdays: 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sundays: 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
2195 Armstrong Street
Hours of Operation
Weekdays: 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Weekends: 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Anastasia Rioux is a freelance writer in Greater Sudbury.