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7
JANUARY 2016
«
The Canadian Business Journal
culture of back home to Canada. And bringing a
great Middle Eastern experience to Canada, out-
side of what Canadians are used to.”
From its Mississauga location, Paramount
Fine Foods began attracting customers from all
over Toronto. It turned out Canadians hungered
for top-quality Middle Eastern cuisine. With
Paramount’s success, Fakih went into the fran-
chise business. In 2016, Paramount Fine Foods
will have restaurants in 58 locations in Canada,
the United States, Europe, Lebanon, Pakistan, and
Qatara.
Middle Eastern Twist on
the Sandwich
In 2013, to serve the growing appetite for Middle
Eastern food, Fakih opened Fresh East, a quick
serve twist on the North American sandwich.
Again, he hired a dedicated team of accomplished
chefs and developed signature recipes. Fresh East
offers fresh local ingredients, including hormone-
free meats from Paramount’s award-winning
halal butcher shop. These quality meats come
on submarine sandwich buns and pitas baked in
a wood-burning oven, as well as cheeses, veg-
etables and sauces. To top it off, Fresh East offers
a variety of hand-selected Middle Eastern spices.
The first Toronto location opened in August
2015 on the corner of Yonge and Dundas. It was
Fresh East’s third opening within the past six
months. The two other restaurants are located on
Western University’s campus and in the Erin Mills
Town Centre.
Only the Best Halal Meat
Fresh East uses the finest and most ethically
prepared products. All the meat comes from
Paramount’s award-winning halal butcher shop.
Food processed according to Muslim dietary
laws is called halal. It excludes pork and meat
from carnivorous animals or birds of prey.
According to Islamic guidelines, only certain
types of meat can be eaten and the meat must
be prepared in a specific way. The Fresh East
website explains that the animal must have been
“fed a natural diet that did not contain animal by-
products.” The halal method “allows maximum
drainage of blood from the animal’s body. Blood
in meat makes it more susceptible to putrefac-
tion and also negatively impacts taste.” Fakih
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