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Business Spotlight: Krunch – vegetarian options in Houghton

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Business Spotlight: Krunch – vegetarian options in Houghton

Krunch offers delicious, sweet through savory foods, and there's something for everyone! From real meat burgers to jackfruit pulled

Krunch offers delicious, sweet through savory foods, and there's something for everyone! From real meat burgers to jackfruit pulled "pork" the restaurant caters to everyone for a reasonable price.

Krunch offers delicious, sweet through savory foods, and there's something for everyone! From real meat burgers to jackfruit pulled "pork" the restaurant caters to everyone for a reasonable price.

Krunch offers delicious, sweet through savory foods, and there's something for everyone! From real meat burgers to jackfruit pulled "pork" the restaurant caters to everyone for a reasonable price.


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While many think the past summer up here in Houghton was full of downsides from the floods, everyone can agree that there was at least one upside that came out of the summer. This past July is when Krunch first opened its doors to the public, and, since then, it has been received with open arms.

The owner, Paul Gemignani, wanted to open a new restaurant up in the Keweenaw that would suit those who were vegetarian or vegan. Paul’s wife, Emily, is a vegetarian and found that there aren’t a lot of options in the U.P. for dining out when you’re a vegetarian. Paul was already in the food business and thought it would be worth a shot to open a new restaurant in Houghton.
Krunch features plenty of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options on their menu. From cashew burgers to grain bowls, you’re sure to find something that you like on the menu. They even have items with meat for those picky eaters such as a shredded beef sandwich or a Messy Bessy burger. Meat can also be added to the grain bowls along with shredded jackfruit or a fried egg to give it an extra kick.

The menu also features various unusual sides such as Buffalo Cauliflower or Sweet Potato Bites. There is also a large drink menu to choose from, including fountain drinks, coffee, iced tea, Horchata and shakes made from Gelato. Gelato is also featured under the dessert menu, with flavors changing often. Along with gelato, rice pudding and Kev’s Cookies are some of the other desserts you can order. Of course, there’s a kids menu to suit those with a younger, more refined palate with dishes like chicken strips or burgers.

Kevin Niemela, the General Manager of Krunch, is the creator of Kev’s Cookies. They’re vegan and made from his own secret recipe. Kevin had been working with Paul at his other restaurant in Hancock, Gemignani’s, for two years when Paul asked him if he wanted to manage Krunch. “I’ve been cooking for 12-15 years now, but management is a whole new thing for me,” said Kevin.
“We were really aiming toward a price point that students would like”, said Kevin. And they nailed it. At Krunch, you can get a large, fresh, in-house cooked meal for around $10.

There is a large conference room in the downstairs part of the restaurant that larger groups can reserve as well. “When it gets busy we do open up the downstairs seating, and we have some groups that come on Sunday that reserve the conference room. We are thinking about labeling it as a study area for students,” said Kevin.

Emily Gemignani played a huge part in Krunch’s creation. Being an artist, Emily helped design the interior, menus and everything in between. If you visit Gemignani’s, all of her artwork is also featured on the walls.

Krunch has some big plans for their future as well. Krunch is located in the old Hardee’s building and hopefully, in the spring, the drive-thru portion of the building will be up and running. “We just started online ordering and that has taken off, but hopefully down the road, we will be able to start delivering as well,” explained Kevin.

Even though Gemignani’s and Krunch are owned by the same person, they each have their own unique aspects. Gemignani’s is the perfect place to go for a nice sit-down meal with that special someone, while Krunch is the perfect place to go if you want to try something new and exciting. “A third restaurant will be coming late November hopefully,” explained Kevin. “It is going to be in the old McDonalds building in downtown Houghton, right across from the Travel Lodge.” If it is anything like Paul’s other two restaurants, it is sure to be a hit!

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Business Spotlight: Krunch – vegetarian options in Houghton