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Let’s eat! Kate’s Kountry Kitchen, good wholesome food perfected

Kate Kuepfer, the ‘Kate’ in Kate’s Kountry Kitchen, believes the best food comes from simple, honest ingredients 

“Good food depends almost entirely on good ingredients.” Those words from California restaurateur Alice Waters who pioneered the farm-to-table movement.

Closer to home, Kate’s Kountry Kitchen, on Highway 17 in Warren, also believes in that very same philosophy.  

Kate Kuepfer believes the best food is created with simple, wholesome ingredients like real butter, salt and sugar.

“When you stick to traditional ingredients, you get that old-fashioned taste,” she said.

The 5,000-square-foot rustic restaurant first opened in 2004. Before that, it was the Brunet Truck Stop, which is where Kate started out her career in the food business. 

Known for their hearty breakfasts and homemade pies, the highway haven for travellers is almost 20 years old now and is bustling with business from the dining room, to the inside and outside market spaces.

“I used to play restaurant as a child all the time so clearly working and then owning a business in this field was a natural step for me,” Kuepfer said.

Keupfer hails from Wellesley, a bustling Mennonite community near Kitchener. She visits the area monthly with her children, Ava and Oliver, to pick up gifts for the boutique and glass jugs of Wellesley apple cider that are sold in the market space.

The market space has become a draw for travellers on Highway 17 — and Kate’s has become so popular she has her own tea towels and mugs, too.

“It’s been 18 years in the making. It took years of hard work and getting up early and going to bed late,” she said.

Kate’s is most known for its breakfast, but Kate said burgers and pies are also big selling features. “Everyone seems to leave with a pie or sticky buns,”  

Kate’s daughter Ava loves the dutch apple pie. It’s their family favourite and passed down from her mother.

Seasonally, there is a strawberry pie featuring berries from Leisure Farms in Sturgeon Falls, too.

Kate’s focuses on homemade and also local grub as much as possible. Bread and meat pies come from Chez Jean Marc in Sturgeon Falls. Pies, butter tarts are made on site.  

Kate has a kitchen manager who puts her own twist on some of the recipes. She also has a commercial kitchen at home that allows her to focus on more food preparation, especially the pies when the children are still sleeping. 

Be sure to visit Kate’s from January to March on a Tuesday as it features donuts. She said donuts are time consuming to make so during the slow months they can focus on 100 dozen apple fritters and other donuts each week. 

Kate’s Kountry Kitchen is open Tuesday to Saturday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is closed Sundays and Mondays.

The store can be followed on Facebook.

Anastasia Rioux is a writer in Greater Sudbury. Let’s Eat! is made possible by our Community Leaders Program.