By Mike Anderson

If you fancy a Philly cheesesteak, lobster roll or a Cubano sandwich for lunch, you now have a go-to place in Sutton.

Speak Easy Sandwich Co. opened its doors at 118 High Street on March 15, debuting its selection of handcrafted sandwiches ranging from $15 to $21 with a side included.

According to owner Regan Irvine, it’s already a hit with lunch-goers.

“On our first Tuesday, we sold more than 60 sandwiches,” Irvine said.

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“The reaction has been awesome, and we’re getting messages daily about our Instagram posts.”

“A lot of people are loving the Philly cheesesteak. It’s a nicely shaved ribeye with caramelized onions, homemade garlic aioli, and provolone cheese on an olive oil-infused ciabatta bun.”

While Irvine hesitates to call his sandwiches gourmet, they are a step up from the typical fare.

“We’re not doing the same things as Subway or Mr. Sub. We’re doing something totally different,” he said.

“The one thing about us is everything’s homemade. We don’t bring anything in frozen. We don’t just grab somebody else’s stuff and put a label on it.”

“Everything we do is based on our chef Ben Grant’s recipes. I’m not saying we invented the Cubano or the Philly cheesesteak, but we’re putting our own twist on it. And then we have our homemade sauces and rubs for sale at the store, too, so people can see that we are making everything from scratch.”

Irvine is no stranger to the food business. His company, Irv & Co. Hospitality Group, already operates Irv at the George, a successful gastropub in Newmarket, as well as a food truck and catering business.

But he says opening a sandwich shop has always been his dream.

“It’s been on our radar for more than a decade,” said Irvine, who will be opening another location in Newmarket and hopes to franchise the concept.

Irvine says they looked at more than 20 small-town locations before selecting 118 High Street.

While he admits it was challenging to convert the small space into a sandwich shop, Irvine is happy with the result.

“We like the small-town feel,” he said.

“We just like being part of the community, and I also think the neighbourhood needs something new and fresh.”

He also believes the location is great for business.

“The street’s got a lot of traffic. And the cottage crowd cuts through here to HWY 48. So, it’s a good spot to stop and grab a bite to eat,” he said.

Irvine is also bullish on Sutton’s future and its evolving food choices.

“I think it’s going to get super expensive to live in Aurora and Newmarket. So, there’s a lot of younger people who will be moving this way,” he said.

“As the neighbourhood changes, the community changes. So the food scene needs to change too.”

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