Preston’s deli offers homemade daily specials, baked goods and more

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“People in Preston seem to like good home cooking,” said the owner of Catering By Suzanne.

The food industry has had to adapt, and no one knows that better than Suzanne Sinnicks, who has been cooking for over 40 years.

“You have to be versatile to do it now,” said Sinnicks, owner of Catering By Suzanne, who has been hosting funerals for more than 11 years.

This year, Sinnicks said it has moved from catering to running a storefront and providing daily specials, which it advertises on social media. Its assortment of meals and other baked goods can be found at 111 Westminster Dr. N. in Preston.

“I opened the store in 2013, and it was open to the public in 2014, but I was so busy restoring that the storefront kind of fell by the wayside,” Sinnicks said of his location. “With COVID, if we were going to survive, I just couldn’t really wait for restoration.”

“I had a choice, I had to either fight to survive or close up shop, and I’m at a point in my life where I’m in my 50s and that’s what I’m doing.”

Coming from a long line of home cooks, Sinnicks said cooking was in his nature. As a child, the first thing she learned to make was bread.

After moving from Newfoundland to Cambridge in the late 80s, Sinnicks worked in a variety of workplaces. In 2010, she said she started catering after being unable to find a caterer for her father’s funeral and deciding to cook for the event herself. Since then, Sinnicks said she has held funerals for up to 600 people and weddings in the Waterloo region.

“I’ve cooked everything from high end to low end, making and everything,” Sinnicks said.

“I work with churches and very many funeral homes in the area, and this (COVID-19) was a double whammy because look at the funeral homes, they were pretty much run the same way as the caterers and the restaurants .”

When it comes to her food, Sinnicks said the items available may vary, but they’re homemade and preservative-free. Its offerings include cabbage rolls, apple fritters, sandwiches with hand-carved meat, homemade scones and more. Sinnicks mentions that they also offer special dishes for seniors and will be offering a charcuterie platter for two for Valentine’s Day.

“I only do what I expect to sell and I seem to sell everything I do,” Sinnicks said. “As a kitchen designer, I make my own recipes, everything I do is from scratch.”

Going online to promote her food, Sinnicks adds that community members have responded well to her posts. In addition to the food, the service at Catering By Suzanne is also good. Anyone who enters the store is greeted by Suzanne, who takes orders and chats with customers while preparing food.

“Preston has been wonderful, very supportive.” she says of the community. “The people of Preston, they seem to like good home cooking.”

She adds that the platform has also made her increasingly visible to the public. While her catering business was known to many area churches and funeral homes, Sinnicks said some customers were unaware she was cooking before the pandemic.

“It’s been pretty positive for me and I’m really grateful to the people of Cambridge and especially Preston,” Sinnicks said.

Hoping the pandemic won’t last much longer, Sinnicks adds that she will again be hosting weddings that had been planned with her company in 2020.

The caterer by Suzanne is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, residents can go to the caterer via suzanne.ca.

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