SAUG.E: Gourmet vegan brunch in Sherbrooke

In August 2021, on Peel Street in Sherbrooke, at the bottom of a small, unassuming building, SAUG.E opened its doors. An almost hidden treasure, this restaurant offers an original concept that has been delighting Sherbrooke residents and passing customers ever since it opened. What’s in store? Read on to find out.

A story of friendship

Sophia Hall-Gauthier and Amélie Couture, the two owners, were next-door neighbours and shared the same balcony, a place where they liked to meet up and enjoy a glass of wine together, which eventually led to a deep friendship.

Both vegans for years, their hobby was to create and test new recipes together during the pandemic, which led them to wonder about the vegan offer in Sherbrooke. At the time, there were no establishments offering a 100% vegan menu, and so the idea for SAUG.E was born: to open a restaurant dedicated to vegan cuisine, focusing on dishes for a time that everyone loves: brunch.

Determined to open their own business in the midst of a pandemic and an unprecedented crisis in the restaurant industry, the two young women began looking for funding from banks, which were no longer willing to lend money to open restaurants. But when they talked about their original vegan brunch concept, they liked the idea so much that they had no trouble obtaining the funds they needed to make their dream a reality, and SAUG.E was born.

A colourful menu

Quite often, when we think of vegan cuisine, we think that pure indulgence is out of the question and that we have to do without this and that. It’s a common misconception, but it’s not true, especially at SAUG.E, where you can enjoy generous, carefully thought-out dishes that are in no way inferior to traditional cuisine, as 95% of the customers are not vegan.

The menu is based on ideas developed by Sophia and Amélie, who were helped in their early days by the talented Athéna Fortin, a protégé of Luc Vaillancourt, chef at Antidote Foodlab, who is very close to the two owners.

Samuel Letourneau-Doyon is now in charge of the kitchen, and his carefully crafted menu, which requires constant research, varies according to the seasons and the local produce available. Samuel is vegan, as is the whole SAUG.E team, which adds an extra touch of authenticity to the delicious, colourful dishes served in this charming restaurant with its simple, streamlined decor.

Creative cocktails & fine wine

The lively Sophia has travelled and lived abroad, mostly in France, in Gigondas near Châteauneuf-du-Pape, where her first job was selling wine. She honed her skills there, and is now in charge of the restaurant’s wine list, but that’s not all. Sophia is also a barista and mixologist, who loves making original recipes, and according to her the best cocktail on the menu is the Lilou, made with vodka, lavender and citrus fruits, named in honour of one of her two cats, and matching her personality: “Lilou is like this cocktail, sweet and distinguished and she has green green eyes, like the lime in the centre.”

Congratulations to the whole team, we wish you continued success and bon appétit to our loyal readers who will be visiting this fine vegan establishment!

Photography by Mikael Lebleu

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