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Operation Success: Kitchen on Trent (New Bern, North Carolina)

For 20 years, Kitchen on Trent has been serving area residents in its New Bern, North Carolina community a delicious selection of specialty sandwiches, entrée dishes, an array of fresh salads, homemade soups and scrumptious muffins. But owner Curt Williamson credits one menu item in particular—the Lowfat Peach Muffin—for putting the restaurant on the map.

“Our peach muffins have been a bestseller for years,” said Williamson. “From the beginning, people were hooked on these muffins that have truly become synonymous with our restaurant’s name.”

Peach Muffins

Kitchen on Trent, which Williamson describes as a “mom and pop” Panera-style restaurant, has flourished with a focus on offering innovative dishes and wholesome comfort food with a healthy gourmet twist. The restaurant has an open environment so customers can see the food prepared right in front of them.

“Twenty years ago, there was nothing like this being offered,” said Williamson, who noted the restaurant’s cosmopolitan menu in a rural setting.

Popular items on the menu today include everything from entrées such as Mediterranean Crab Cakes, Grilled Chicken Marina, and a variety of quiches, soups and artisan sandwiches. Salads are a key specialty and the restaurant offers several options each day, including Williamson’s Chicken Salad or its namesake salad, the Kitchen on Trent Salad featuring green leaf and mixed spring lettuce, carrots, cheese and couscous with house Balsamic vinaigrette. During the morning hours, the restaurant draws crowds for its made-to-order breakfast items and large assortment of baked goods, which includes 10 varieties of muffins on a daily basis.

Inside the restaurant

Williamson said that while he and his staff make some of the muffins from scratch each day, they also rely on a few muffin batters to round out his selection—using the best batters they can find that offer great flavor and consistent results. He previously used a Gold Medal Mix for his famous peach muffins, but some quick action was required earlier this year when General Mills discontinued it.

Amanda Melendez, a sales representative for General Mills who serves the Raleigh area, was quickly dispatched to Kitchen on Trent to work alongside Williamson to find a solution. This process entailed Melendez conducting all the recipe testing at her own home to experiment with different mixes and ingredients, bringing Williamson different variations until they attained the texture and taste that Williamson’s customers had come to know and love.

“It is always unfortunate when a beloved product gets discontinued, but we were happy to work with Curt and his team to find a replacement and help him deliver the same great-tasting peach muffins his customers have come to love,” said Melendez.

Today, Kitchen on Trent uses Gold Medal™ Sweet Rewards™ Lowfat Variety Muffin Mix as the foundation and adds in fresh or canned peaches with a result that is as popular the original. Williamson said that, while it may take a few more steps to make the muffins these days, the change is unnoticeable by customers and that’s what’s important. He is grateful to General Mills for the support they provided in helping him find a solution so he could keep offering his customers his top-selling muffin.

Check out Gold Medal™ Sweet Rewards™ Lowfat Variety Muffin Mix that Kitchen on Trent uses for their famous peach muffins.