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Vita Sandusky

Vita Sandusky Makes 4 Minute Flatbreads with a Peerless CE131PE

When Patti and Larry Knauer opened up their restaurant/café in downtown Sandusky they envisioned a European-style space blending food, drinks, groceries, coffee, and a relaxed atmosphere where people could sit and chat with friends.

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, they had to close shortly after opening in March of 2020, but after successfully reopening in May of 2021 they have hit the ground running and find themselves as one of the highest rated eateries in Sandusky, although it isn’t exactly a traditional restaurant.

“Vita is modeled after a lot of European neighborhood every-need-met market,” Patti Knauer said.  She pointed out that in many small towns in Europe they “have a ‘do everything’ market where they go and get their espresso and they sit outside and converse, they grab a loaf of bread and some meats and take it home.”  These markets provide food, drinks, and groceries from the early morning until the evening – something that Vita is happy to emulate.  “We open at 7am with a coffee bar and we have breakfast sandwiches and pastries and such, we have a little bit of your go to market need items, and then we have the restaurant and the bar later in the day,” Knauer explained.

The Knauers credit some of their success to their decision to purchase a Peerless CE131PE countertop oven to add to their kitchen.

“We had just a glorified toaster oven,” Patti said, adding that the Peerless countertop oven has made everything so much better.  “It’s so quick and easy – it has really helped us a lot.  There’s no way we could do the business we are doing without it – it has helped tremendously,” she said. In fact, in anticipation of eventually adding a second oven, the Knauers smartly invested in a CE131PE with Side Controls, which makes it expandable and stackable, becoming the C231PESC when a second unit is added.

Currently the main menu items being prepared in the Peerless Oven are pastries in the morning, and flatbreads throughout the day, and the Knauers appreciate the convenience and quality the oven affords them.  “For our menu, we do a lot of flatbreads, “Mrs. Knauer noted, so just the fact that we can fit 9 flatbreads in there at a time if we need to is convenient, and then 4 minutes later they’re done, so I like how easy it is, how quick it is,” she said.

Not only do the Knauers use their oven for more than pizza already, they are planning some new things to take even greater advantage of their Peerless, as Patti explained: “We’ve got a whole new thing coming up hopefully at the end of September for our dinner menu – I can’t go into details yet, but I don’t think with a standard oven we could do what we’re planning to do.”

The bottom line is that the Knauers know that Peerless Ovens are not just for pizza, and the oven’s quality and performance, combined with its space-saving features, makes it a hit.  “As we start to get a little busier, we will definitely be adding a second Peerless because the ease of it is great, and we have the space for another one,” Patti said.  “It’s not just a pizza oven – I bake pastries in there and more – it’s an all-around multilevel oven and there’s so much flexibility to use it in so many ways.  We love it.”

Vita Sandusky
256 Columbus Ave.
Sandusky, OH, 44870
(419) 621-4038>


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