We sat down with Aldo Velaj from Hungry Guys Kitchen and asked all about what makes HGK special. He tells us what brought him to downtown Vancouver and what’s he’s planning next (hint, it involves Granville Street!).
First off, tell us a bit about yourself – how long have you been a business owner and how did you first get started?
I am originally from Albania but have lived around the world and began a career in the food industry at the age of 16. My mother was the inspiration behind my start in the industry because she is a phenomenal cook. Having lived and worked across Europe, I finally settled in Boston in 2002 where I owned and operated a restaurant featuring Mediterranean specialties. I moved to Vancouver in 2015 because of the burgeoning food scene here and started Hungry Guys Kitchen.
Now tell us about your business – what is Hungry Guys Kitchen, and what is the key to its success?
Hungry Guys Kitchen is a fast casual restaurant that serves custom-made salads, burritos, and bowls. The keys to its success are: fresh ingredients, consistency, and of course, great customer service.
Why did you choose to locate on Granville Street?
Granville street is where it's happening in Vancouver. It's sandwiched between the business and residential districts. It is also a street that the City has continuously tried to improve on.
What’s next for your business – any plans for changes or expansion?
I am in the midst of starting a sister location for Hungry Guys Kitchen. It will be called "Chit Chat Burger Bar" and located directly across from HGK. The concept will be different but expected to be more exciting. It will also be one of the first CASHLESS restaurant in the Vancouver.
For more information on Hungry Guys Kitchen, check out their Facebook page.