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New south end sandwich shop serves up the unique and the classic

When it comes to sandwiches, Cafe 245 co-owners Connie Raso and Michael Ciccia aren't afraid to experiment

Variety is the key ingredient for a new cafe in Guelph's south end.

Since opening last March, Cafe 245 has gained a following of residents who have an appetite for its unique sandwich creations. Scroll through the cafe's Facebook page and see creations like concord grape chutney on roast beef, or chow mein noodles with honey garlic meatballs.

"We've got a lot of people like that, where they're like, 'Alright, what do you got?' Because they know it's going to be good and they know it's going to be different," said Michael Ciccia, who co-owns the business with Connie Raso.

Raso is behind these unique sandwiches. She explains the unique sandwiches are based on in-season ingredients, or whatever ingredients they have on hand after catering gigs, which the cafe offers alongside coffee, tea and baked goods. 

"Sometimes, I'll wake up in the morning and go, 'Hmm, I had this really weird dream,' or, I'll go into the fridge and walk around the fridge and be like, 'Oh, I'll put this together and this together,'" said Raso.

While they could offer six staple sandwiches, Raso said she wanted to be able to change up the menu to keep things fresh.

"Why would you want to keep coming back? Regardless if sandwich A is really good, you get bored," said Raso. "It's like, 'Oh, what did they make today?'"

"We're not afraid to make mistakes with the sandwiches.

"Sometimes, we have people who come in and they're like, 'Oh, that's an odd combination, I'll try that,'" adds Raso. 

Located at 245 Hanlon Creek Blvd., in the ever-growing Hanlon Creek Business Park, Ciccia said not many people expect to find a sandwich place like theirs in this part of Guelph and hit an untapped market.

"You have to cross the Hanlon to get to anything. It's half an hour for these guys to go grab lunch or grab a cup of coffee," said Ciccia. "There's more buildings going up in this place and we're the closest thing to all of them."

Besides the limited time specials, there are three featured sandwiches at Cafe 245; the Cuban, the muffuletta and the Calabrese cantina, which is a nod to both Raso and Ciccia's Italian heritage.

"Those are typical things that us Italians would have in the kitchen," Ciccia said about the Calabrese cantina.

Out of the three, Ciccia adds the Cuban is one of most popular with customers.

"It's a safe choice, but like a really good safe choice."

Open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., Cafe 245 also offers coffee, tea and breakfast sandwiches, served between either two waffles, a donut or a croissant. There are also vegetarian and gluten-free options and everything is made in-house, including their garlic aioli, which Ciccia describes as their 'Frank's Hot Sauce' and put it on all their sandwiches.

"We can't help it, it's delicious," he said.

Getting the opportunity to build the business into something they both want, Raso said her vision for the cafe is to be like the television show, Cheers.

"We have our regulars, they come in, they get greeted," said Raso, adding they try to remember people's names and orders.

Raso and Ciccia met prior to going into business together. Each brings different skill sets to the partnership, but Raso said they have a lot of connections.

"We're both Italian, we both come from large families, and have the same work ethic and we're both loud, we're almost like siblings," Raso said about her and Ciccia.

"At the end of the day, we just want this to be successful," adds Ciccia. 

While Cafe 245 can't be found on food delivery apps, people can place an order online at