Uncle Fatih is coming to SOLO District in the fall of 2015, and Fatih Ilcin—Uncle Fatih himself—couldn’t be more enthusiastic.
Since he founded the Uncle Fatih’s pizza chain a decade ago, founder Fatih Ilcin, who once worked as a grocer in his native Turkey, could have done many things.
His first store on Commercial and Broadway was so successful he could have just surfed along this wave of popularity and open up one new store a month across Greater Vancouver. But that didn’t fit his business model.
“Fast growth is not healthy growth,” says Ilcin, who calls himself “Uncle Fatih” as a loving tribute to his 16 nieces and nephews.
Six sites in Vancouver in 10 years have made him a household name among budget-minded pizza lovers, who line up for a taste of the dish made from his mother’s own recipe. At $4.95 for two slices and a drink, lunch is hot, tasty and won’t break the bank.
Location, location, location
Ilcin says he’s been getting so many requests to bring his pizza beyond Boundary and into Burnaby that he couldn’t resist scouting for the best locations in North Burnaby. It makes perfect sense: Fatih’s provides free delivery, but all deliveries end at the border of Rupert St. in East Vancouver.
With a new Uncle Fatih’s at SOLO District, his staff will be able to deliver between Rupert and Production Way.
He chose to situate an Uncle Fatih’s directly across from Whole Foods, and next door to the Signature Liquor Store. It’s a perfect spot for SOLO District owners who find themselves a little peckish as they pick up their supplies.
“I like to be next to the big boys,” he laughs. “I want to be a small fish beside a big fish.”
What’s in the pizza, and what’s not
The fun of Fatih’s Pizza is as much about what’s IN it as what’s NOT in it. Fatih Ilcin boasts that he adds no preservatives, previously frozen items or artificial ingredients.
Where most pizza makers add mozzarella that contains 22 per cent fat, Fatih’s slices contain just 14 per cent fat. Just as important, healthwise: he uses no oil in his cooking process. His restaurants use only perforated pans, so no oil is needed for his staff to handle the pizzas easily.
Every fan is familiar with the distinctive “crunch” of an Uncle Fatih’s slice. It’s a signature sound that comes directly from his state-of-the-art ovens that distribute heat to every spot of the pizza, unlike other pizzerias, which just distribute heat in the middle.
“Hold a regular slice of pizza in your hand and you’ll see oil on your palm. Hold our pizza and there’s nothing–you may see some flour, but that’s it.”