Mahdia Shawarma celebrates first year of business in Orangeville

June 14, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The first thing you notice when you enter Mahdia Shawarma is the aroma of the slow cooked chicken, lamb, and beef roasting on an open spit.

The second thing you notice is the menu which is varied and based on Mediterranean cuisine.

After their first full year in business in Orangeville, owners Stephanie Gibson and Soufiane Mahjoubi say they are very happy to have selected the town to open restaurant.

Originally from Ottawa, they looked around southern Ontario and chose Orangeville for a variety of reasons.

The restaurant is enjoying thriving business since opening. Stephanie said when you open a restaurant it is a lot of work, but rewarding.

“It becomes your lifestyle,” she said. “We found there really wasn’t a restaurant with Middle Eastern cuisine here. The town is growing and it was the time to invest here,” Stephanie explained. “We came here several times and saw the town and the businesses and what kind of food there is. We made the decision and took the chance and moved everything here.”

Soufiane is a professional chef and has been for over 20 years. Although he is originally from Tunisia, he received his training from Lebanese people and his work has taken on a flair from that country, although he really is an international chef.

Stephanie explained that the Shawarma style of slow cooking originated in Turkey, then spread across the Middle East when they realized how tasty it was.

“After that, all the countries in the Mediterranean tried their own recipes and changed it for what their people like. So you can try all kinds of Shawarma and they’ll be different because they come from different countries.”

The meat is marinated for two days before it goes on the spit. The slow cook method produces a lot of flavour.

At Mahdia Shawarma, they source their meat locally from farms in Grand Valley.

Stephanie said they are enjoying their time in Orangeville and appreciated the slower pace but at the same time enjoy the thriving business culture.

“We are from Ottawa, so here it’s more familiar. People know their neighbours. People say hi. In Ottawa they are all in a rush. People here like to know you and they enjoy our food. It’s a really nice town. We have no regrets coming here at all.”


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