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FOOD & BEVERAGE
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Fresh East
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MOHAMAD FAKIH, CEO
of the food chain Fresh
East, likes to tell the story of how he founded
his Middle Eastern and Mediterranean restaurant
franchises. In 2007, while hunting for baklava
to serve at a dinner party, he stumbled upon a
struggling Lebanese restaurant. The owner rec-
ognized Fakih from other the businesses he ran
and asked for a loan. Surprised at the request,
Fakih said he would think about it, hoping the
restaurant owner wouldn’t pursue the issue any
further. The next day, however, the man con-
tacted Fakih again and he reluctantly agreed.
Despite his generosity, the restaurant failed and
Fakih ended up with a new business.
From that chance transaction, Fakih founded
Paramount Fine Foods Ltd., a Middle Eastern
and Mediterranean restaurant franchise. To turn
the restaurant into a successful venture, Fakih
consulted experts and engineered a menu that
would deliver the Middle Eastern experience to
Canadian restaurant goers. What he discovered
was the Canadian landscape lacked high-quality,
healthy Middle Eastern food. So Fakih hired a
business savvy team to get his Lebanese restau-
rant up and running.
“We brought in a new image, and a new way
of representing Middle Eastern food,” Fakih says.
“It’s a great combination of bringing the food and
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