My brother owns a software company and emphasizes the importance of providing good service in order to attract and retain customers. I was reminded of this when I was shopping this weekend.
Saskatoon is prospering and is developing specialty food and drink stores. Cava Secreta is the city’s first specialty wine store, and two delicatessens have opened downtown this month.
I visited Souleio on Friday. The store and restaurant are in a heritage building, and it’s a very attractive, high-ceilinged facility. But they serve food on disposable plates: neither attractive nor environmentally-friendly. But I was pleased to see that they had chocolate hazelnut cheesecake on display – just what I was looking for. But, when asked, the staff told me that they were only selling it as a whole cake – it was too much trouble to cut it and serve slices. I wasn’t impressed.
Sous Chef has just opened a second downtown location. It’s a small deli with a more limited selection, but their staff were friendly. They provided detailed cooking instructions, told a joke and listened politely as I recommended that they offer more vegetarian options. And the stuffed Portobello mushroom was delicious and significantly cheaper than the square of chocolate cake that I had purchased at Souleio.
I’ll be a regular visitor at Sous Chef – but I won’t be visiting Souleio very often.
P.S. The staff at Cava Secreta are friendly, helpful and enthusiastic. That’s another store I’m happy to patronize.