Vancouver fan-favourite Uncle Fatih’s Pizza celebrates 10 years today. The homegrown, little pizza shop-that-could, has been a mainstay of the lower mainland over the years, and so we sat down with the affectionately named ‘Uncle’ to chat pizza, and more.
With 10 years in the business already under his belt, Uncle explains where his humble pizza beginnings first saw light – close to home.
“My introduction to pizza came through my mother, and that carried on as much of what is behind our pizzas today comes from my mother…that’s how I started,” says Uncle, sitting outside of his Broadway and Commercial location. “We then further introduced Turkish ingredients, mixing them with the Italian, and ta da, Uncle Fatih’s Pizza.”
Pizza is not uncommon in Vancouver, however even within a saturated market, Uncle Fatih’s has risen and stood out, especially when it comes to customer loyalty. Speaking to what makes his pizzerias different, Uncle continued, “For starters, I don’t use anything frozen. Everything we use in my stops is fresh and prepared daily.”
“If you go into our kitchens at any time, you will see that they are making the dough fresh. Same goes for the sauce. The toppings that we add to our pizzas are all fresh as well, brought in daily. We try to steer clear from anything that would involve chemicals, or MSG, and rather strive to be as natural as possible.”
With the emergence and popularity of food trucks, and unique eateries across Vancouver, many quick-bite restaurants have gone the way of the dinosaur. Uncle Fatih’s pizza has grown to 6 successful locations instead.
“So far the pizza business is still doing great. For a long time the majority of pizzerias that you would find in Vancouver were Italian, or Greek, but over the last few years a number of Turkish shops have opened, and are doing great as well. I think what makes us stand out amongst them is largely due to the ingredients and pizzas that we make, and hopefully people taste the extra effort we put in to go all natural and fresh.”
10 years ago, Uncle Fatih’s Pizza was simply a small shop on Broadway and Commercial, and now has expanded to six locations across Vancouver, with two more opening very soon.
“In the beginning I really did not want to expand,” explains Uncle, “but after receiving many requests over the years, we started looking into that more seriously…looking forward.”
Though a certain level uncertainty can grip many restaurants that may only have one or two locations, Uncle confidently looks forward, and aims to maintain as many as 10-15 shops across the lower mainland over the five years.
“We train our employees in house, and when they have learned A – Z, we look towards opening another location. We don’t do franchises mainly because we really want to maintain the Uncle Fatih’s standard that our customers love. Consistency, quality, cleanliness, customer service, and so forth are things I hold very important, and I think that directly leads to the customer loyalty that we have built so far.”
Speaking to that incredible customer fan base that Uncle Fatih’s Pizza has garnered over the years, Uncle notes, “I want to thank all our customers across Vancouver who have supported us over the the last 10 years. I would not be here if it wasn’t for them, and so I want to continue giving that same ‘thank you’ back. Customer service, along with quality of the product and affordability, are really important to me, and those three elements will always be found at Uncle Fatih’s Pizza.”