Award-winning restaurant busy keeping their customers satisfied

Summerside’s South Central Kitchen and Provisions won the CBDC Central New Business Award at last month’s 25th annual Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.

South Central’s owners, Dan Kutcher, a former lawyer, and Ian Gass who is a Culinary Institute graduate, couldn’t be happier. They teamed up earlier this year to open the restaurant in what once was the Guardian newspaper office space.

Kutcher said that winning the award means a lot.

“We work really hard to create and consistently make to-order craft sandwiches made from scratch components on house-made bread, quickly,” he said. “Our focus from day one was on the people who live here in Summerside—they work here, play here, take their kids to school here, and do business here. So, to have them and the local business community vote for us to receive this award is both humbling and a recognition that we are doing what we set out to do.”

Since opening their doors in March of this year the line of customers hasn’t stopped

“We have been busy ever since and never really looked back. At lunch time the shop can get a bit crazy with line-ups out the door (and we love it!) so it is always a challenge to make sure you can move people through without compromising quality and consistency, but we have an awesome team in the kitchen who love what they do and they get it done right.”
The restaurant has focussed on making as much of their food from scratch, from the freshly baked bread made in-house, to brining, smoking, and roasting all their meats onsite, to offering soups made with house-made stocks, South Central’s concentration on fresh ingredients has proved to be a great choice.

Kutcher said the plan right now is to take their successes slow and steady.

left to right: Dan Kutcher, Emily Miller, Aaron Jackson and Ian Gass Photo credit: Summerside Chamber of Commerce

“We set out with a goal to bring new foods and flavours to our customers and to let our team be creative and try things that some people may have thought might not work here in the past,” he said. “That means our offerings change a lot, but nothing makes us happier than when customers tell us they haven’t tried something before but trust us to deliver something yummy. We see it as a journey we are on together.”

“Before becoming a baker I was a commercial food lawyer. In those years I learned how valuable patience and not getting ahead of yourself is in this business. So I guess we will all just have to wait and see where we go next.”
South Central Kitchen and Provisions is located at 24 Central Street in Summerside and is open Tuesdays through Fridays.

About Rod Weatherbie

Rod Weatherbie is a writer working in the hospitality industry. He spent a number of years in Toronto as a member of the financial press before returning to PEI. Rod has published one piece of short fiction, one book of poetry, and has had work published in Red Shift, the Antigonish Review, Mitre, and the Toronto Quarterly. He has also recently co-produced, co-directed, and acted in a stage production of old television shows.

He also likes writing about food. Go figure.

View All Posts