Feels like home and tastes like home” is a secret to Mahmut Elbasi’s Calgary success.
So is lots of early mornings with hard work, culinary skill and creative flair for Mediterranean flavours and dishes, a knack for making Calgary customers happy as well as a lot of positivity and business confidence.
For more than 10 delicious and popular years, Mahmut and Selma Elbasi have been the gung-ho, usually smiling and friendly owners and operators of the constantly busy Anatolia, the popular food stand tucked away in a corner of Calgary’s busy Crossroads Market.
The magic is Elbasi’s special touch with freshness and flavours in dishes such as lamb and chicken kabobs, roast lamb shanks, rib dinners and the appetizing varieties of Börek – phyllo pastries filled with cheese, minced meat or vegetables.
The couple’s tremendous hard work (they usually start the day at 4 a.m., baking homemade breads and prepping the fresh sauces and soups) has earned a loyal following and a superb Calgary reputation.
Anatolia is now an exciting Calgary business success story. It is Calgary’s newest downtown restaurant, just across from city hall.
Mahmut Elbasi is upbeat about opening his new sit-down restaurant. “We have always had calls from people who wanted to come for lunch, and we just couldn’t accommodate them. We didn’t have the space. Now we can!” he smiles with enthusiasm.
“We don’t want to be too fancy. It’s just not who we are. With the current Calgary economy, it may not be the best time to start a new business but, I trust my food and I want to make people happy,” Elbasi says with passion.