Salute Coffee is aiming to literally and figuratively fill a niche.
The restaurant and coffee bar, located in the south end of Sudbury, opened a second location downtown on May 1, which owner/operator Tania Renelli said has proven very popular with the neighbourhood.
A lesser-known draw Renelli wants everyone to know about is that both locations offer catering and space for rent for almost any occasion.
"It could be a product launch, business meeting; we can host private functions after hours at either location," she said. "At the (downtown) location, students (from the McEwen School of Architecture) use the space as a kind of study hall, pushing tables together for groups. They like the atmosphere, location and the food and coffee we serve."
Both spaces can accommodate up to 40 people and have been rented out several times already for private events.
Renelli said the downtown location is still considered a "baby" in terms of how long it's been open, but it is attracting everyone from students to people working in neighbouring businesses. She was able to preserve the history of the building in the exposed brick, big windows and high ceilings, which she said is a big attraction, from regular customers to those attending private functions.
In the south end, the bigger location has several options for those looking to rent out space, with the added bonus of it be ing licensed to sell alcohol. (The downtown location would require a liquor licence specific to the occasion, Renelli explained.)
The main seating area boasts two fireplaces and Wi-Fi, while the company's main boardroom upstairs is also available for rent. It has a separate entrance, a large, flat-screen Smart TV and a whiteboard, and can seat 15 people around the table.
"We can do as much or as little catering as requested, from water and coffee to a five- or seven-course meal, and we can go off menu, if requested," Renelli said. "We do what we can to accommodate."
As well, Salute's array of housemade foods, which include locally sourced ingredients and gluten-free and vegan options, are a popular draw for customers and business travellers at both the downtown and south end locations.
A big part of having more healthy food at Salute is based on Renelli's own experience. As a mom and entrepreneur, Renelli said she would take the family on road trips or travel for business and encounter a lot of fast food drive-thrus. This inspired her to come up with a menu...