Eye On Business: Somun Superstar brings Bosnian favourite to Kingston Road Village

Alen Zukanovic and his wife Sanja recently opened Somun Superstar, a cafe and sandwich shop on Kingston Road. Inset photo shows the wood-fired oven in which the bread is made. Photos by Alana Rayman.


Looking for something different for lunch? There’s a new sandwich shop to check out in the Kingston Road and Victoria Park Avenue area.

Alen Zukanovic and his wife Sanja recently opened Somun Superstar, a cafe and sandwich shop that brings a traditional Bosnian favourite to Toronto.

“Somun is the superstar of the bread and there’s nowhere in Toronto quite like it,” explained Alen of the cafe.

“How it came to be is that I kept missing that taste from home, and not being able to buy it. Now all our neighbours are coming in and we know them on a first-name basis,” he said.

What makes Somun Superstar special is the passion and process that Alen and Sanja put into it.

“Somun is uniquely Sarajevan,” said Alen of the bread and in a reference to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital city of Sarajevo. “The light-weight bread has yeast in it to make it more substantial which makes it rise and puff up. It also makes it easy to stuff. The wood-fired element gives it the flavour and adds a bit of smokiness to it.”

The Somun Superstar menu offerings are focused without trying to give everything to everyone, he said.

“We have one for meat lovers including beef, veal and lamb. The vegetarian contains grilled eggplant, grilled onions and roasted red pepper spread. We didn’t want just the token vegetarian sandwich. Everything is fresh, the bread you see here is made within the hour,” said Alen.

Sanja and Alen, and their business, are very community-focused and environmentally conscious. All their products are locally sourced and they encourage customers to bring in their own containers.

“Our meat is from Etobicoke and our drinks are from Oro-Medonte. We recycle and use compostable packaging that is shipped out to Belleville,” said Alen.

Before opening, the couple looked at possible Kensington Market and Danforth Village locations but they decided upon the Kingston Road Village area where they’ve lived for 12 years.

They decided to stay in their home community even though some customers in the area may not be too familiar with Bosnian food.

Most restaurants and stores serving Bosnian food are in the west-end, but the couple said they are now seeing more “foodies” coming to their shop.

“We’ve seen Kingston Road Village become a destination, there seems to be a vitality and energy to it,” said Alen.

Somun Superstar is located at 998 Kingston Rd., between Bingham Avenue and Kingswood Road.

For more information, please visit http://www.somunsuperstar.com/


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