The Siblings Behind the Lucrative Sushi Operation

By Kyle Finck

If you ventured down to Crossroads anytime in the past year, you may have noticed a small man and woman in red chef jackets, busily moving among the baristas shuttling sushi from behind the counter.

Behind the jacket is Tint Kyan and his sister Khin Swe, the brother-sister combination responsible for making fresh sushi at the College.

“I make about 170 boxes of sushi a day, but if I am busy, I can make up to 200 boxes a day,” said Kyan, who moved to Middlebury from Florida in September to make sushi.

Feeding the College’s hunger for sushi is no easy task. Kyan and Swe arrive at Crossroads at 7 a.m. every morning, and work for the rest of the day to prepare and deliver sushi to a number of locations. Along with Crossroads and Midd-Xpress, Kyan delivers sushi to Wilson Café, Bi Hall and the Rehearsal Café in the Mahaney Center for the Arts.

Kyan and Swe work for Sushi With Gusto, an outside contractor based in South Carolina that provides sushi to over 125 schools, hospitals and fresh markets.

The company pays for everything, from Kyan and Swe’s salary to the products that go into making the sushi, with the College taking 25 percent of the sales.

“It’s good for everyone: a no brainer,” said General Manager for Retail Food Operations David Cannistra. “Sushi is the biggest draw down here at Crossroads.”

While Crossroads has sold $75,000 worth of sushi, Cannistra said that across the board at all the locations, retail food operations has sold 19,461 orders of sushi for a total sales profit of about $130,000. As a result, the College has gained $30,000.

Kyan said that the move to Vermont was a challenging adjustment, especially for Swe who was not used to cold weather, let alone the arctic Middlebury conditions.

With all the delicious sushi choices, it can often be hard to pick. But when it doubt, eat what the chef eats himself. For Kyan, that is the spicy tuna roll with avocado.