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Open for Breakfast: The Angry Trout restaurant to launch new winter breakfast menu

Dec 05, 2023 08:59AM ● By Content Editor

Photo courtesy of The Angry Trout

By Kimberly J. Soenen - Boreal Community Media Exclusive - December 5, 2023

It has been seven months since the culinary torch was passed to new Angry Trout owners Elliot Noyce and Jessy Goble. They’ve now settled in and will be introducing a new winter-only breakfast menu on December 14th. Noyce—not a morning person, it turns out—and I discussed the rewards and challenges of restaurant ownership, the exciting new breakfast menu, and the joys of winter in Grand Marais.

Soenen: What has the experience been of taking over the legendary Angry Trout since the spring? Learning curve? Challenges? Successes? Keeping the old, introducing the new? Talk to us about being a business owner in Grand Marais.

Noyce: The experience has been pretty wild and surreal. It's an amazing opportunity that I never actually imagined would be a possibility for me. It is more challenging than I had ever imagined, but I'm here for it and am diving in head first. 

The best part about the Trout is that it has no expectations put on it to change too much. Jessy and I plan to keep it that way. We are focusing our efforts on making it a sustainable workplace for our staff along with continuing to buy as local as possible to help better support our community. 

Photo courtesy of The Angry Trout

Soenen: Carrying a culinary legacy forward is a heavy lift. What has been the best aspect of taking the baton from former owners Barb LaVigne and George Wilkes?

Noyce: The best aspect for me is the relief that it didn't end up in someone's hands who didn't know the Trout or its culture. It's a unique place that is very very dear to my heart, so being able to be one to further its success is an amazing thing for me.  

Soenen: What have you learned over the last year about managing and operating a restaurant? What are the characteristics that make you a good owner? 

Noyce: I do not think I'm a good or bad owner. I do however think I'm trying my hardest to be the best I can be for the staff. I knew this before buying but it has been solidified over the past seven months of owning this business that the 'business' side of things is not what is important, it's the people.

Soenen: What do you think the key ingredient is to running a smooth restaurant? Does the staff weigh in with feedback? Do customers shape your decisions?

Noyce: I will say it over and over again. The key to success at the Trout is the staff. I am so grateful every day for the people we get to have working with us. We reach out for feedback from staff whenever we can, and always do our best to listen and incorporate ideas of theirs.

 Photo courtesy of The Angry Trout

Soenen: You are introducing a breakfast menu for the first time in the restaurant’s history. Hikers and paddlers descending from The BWCAW will be thrilled to learn there will be another breakfast option in town for their tired legs and ravenous stomachs. 

Noyce: Well, we are only serving breakfast during the wintertime. During the summer we are too busy and don't have enough space to accommodate breakfast on top of everything else. Paddlers and hikers might not be the demographic we will be serving, except for those hardcore people out there paddling through the ice.   

Soenen: What will be on the menu and what will the hours be?

Noyce: Our breakfast menu will have an assortment of classics. Eggs, meats, potatoes, pancakes, oatmeal, etc.  We will also have smoked salmon, fried herring, wild rice, and house-made biscuits and gravy. Personally, I'm most excited about the biscuits. Biscuits and gravy, fried chicken and biscuits…and my personal favorite so far? The breakfast sandwich, which I would order with eggs, hand-pattied sausage, and American cheese on a house-made biscuit.

Soenen: Why are you launching breakfast now? 

Noyce: Summers in Grand Marais are insanity. Winters? Not at all. So our hope is to create more business for the winter months to hopefully be able to have more year-round employment available for our staff.  

 Photo courtesy of The Angry Trout

Soenen: Are you a morning person yourself? 

Noyce: I am absolutely not a morning person.

Soenen: What advice would you give to high school and college students who are interested in owning their own business in Grand Marais? 

Noyce: Personally, I would never start my own business, especially in Grand Marais. If advice is required though I would recommend buying a successful business and taking advantage of the opportunity to better the lives around you.

Soenen: Working in a restaurant can be very fun as a server, chef, or front-of-house staff. But behind the scenes, it is arguably the most demanding and taxing industry in many respects. High pressure, there’s not a lot of margin for error, and…those hungry summer crowds. Can you share some of the least-glamorous and less-fun realities of owning a restaurant? Risks/Rewards? Pros/Cons?

Noyce: Least glamorous? Getting called in on the busiest weekend in August to spray out the septic a couple of nights in a row. That is never a good time.

Soenen: What are the fun things about owning a restaurant? 

Noyce: It's fun to share the excitement with my parents and spend time with them at the restaurant in this new position. It's also fun to think about how nice of a facility the Angry Trout is and yet somehow I still live in a cabin in the woods with no running water. I guess that dichotomy can be amusing.

Soenen: What are the most rewarding aspects of owning The Trout specifically?

Noyce: I've worked at the Trout for 18 years now. Being able to scheme and potentially bring to life all the improvements and visions I've had for the restaurant over the years is very rewarding.

Soenen: Can you name a few recipe books or shows you’d recommend (other than The Angry Trout Cookbook) going into the winter?

Noyce: My go-to for recipes is the New York Times cooking section. 

 Photo courtesy of The Angry Trout

Soenen: What do you prefer? Colored holiday lights or white holiday lights? 

Noyce: Depends on context.

Soenen: Fan of big snow, or no snow? 

Noyce: Love snow for snowboarding and cross-country skiing. Hate it because it covers up the lakes so I can't skate all winter. Also, snow removal can be very rewarding and fun and also be nightmarishly life-ruining.

Soenen: Big parties or small circles? 

Noyce: Small circles.

Soenen: Sunrise over the harbor or sunset? 

Noyce: Sunrise, because you can see it better, but I can't remember the last one of those I've seen. As I mentioned, I am not a morning person.

Soenen: Favorite pie? 

Noyce: Don’t have one. If someone bakes a pie, I’ll definitely try it, but I’m not really a sweets person.

Winter Breakfast Menu Opening Day

Thursday December 14, 2023 



Year-round, Open Seven-Days-a-Week




11:00am – 7:30pm Monday-Thursday

11:00am – 8:00pm Fridays-Saturdays



Kimberly J. Soenen is a writer and producer specializing in Health Humanities and healthcare industry investigative reporting.

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