In June, 2017 Mary Brown’s opened their newest location at 6039 Erin Mills Parkway. As one of our supporters and sponsors in 2017, we got a chance to sit down and talk to the owners of this location, Atif & Ayisha.
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
Ayisha: I was born and raised in Toronto, ON, spending most of my childhood in various parts of Southern Ontario. In fact, I even lived on Windwood Dr, in Meadowvale in my early teens, for a short period of time. When I was a teenager, our family temporarily moved to Pakistan, where I finished high school and enrolled in a pharmacy program. During this time, I met Atif, got married, dropped pharmacy and decided to move back to Canada. Today, we live in Streetsville and are the proud parents of our daughter Hana (16) and son Osman (9).
We both have had varied careers in the past. As a teenager, I used to work at my father’s pharmacy providing customer service and learning about business practices. I went on to work for a Marketing company before moving to RBC. After our son was born, I became a licensed real estate agent. This profession allowed me to become fluent in managing my own business and it also gave me the flexibility to have work-life balance, which is so important when you have young kids.
Atif has always been involved in the hospitality industry, having managed one of Pakistan’s top 5 star hotels and continuing his career in hospitality when we arrived in Canada. After the recession put the hospitality industry in a downward decline, Atif went back to school to study IT. Today, he is an Associate Director with Bell.
Why a Mary Brown’s franchise?
Ayisha: We both have a very large network of extended family and friends. As a mom with young kids, our past time became entertaining those family and friends at our home. We loved cooking homemade meals, grilling and roasting – summer or winter, rain or shine.
We realized, through this journey of our life, that making people happy through our love of food is our calling. We have a passion for food and service. Food is a common denominator which brings people together, especially when it is prepared and served with heart. And this brings us in complete alignment with the Mary Brown’s philosophy of honest to goodness, made from scratch.
I’ve tried the chicken – I am fan of the Big Mary – and what I really liked about it was that it didn’t leave me with that ‘greasy food hangover’. What is special about the way in which the chicken is made?
Atif: Our chicken, burgers and taters are all cut, marinated and cooked in the store, fresh daily. Nothing comes frozen from the distribution centre. We ‘pressure fry’ our chicken using a technique known as ‘Broasting’. The method essentially combines pressure cooking with deep frying to pressure fry chicken that has been marinated and breaded. Other modern fast-food chains also deep fry chicken under pressure, but use different recipes or equipment from one of several alternative suppliers.
Internationally, broasted chicken remains highly popular in Middle Eastern and South Asian countries such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Many restaurants and fast-food chains in these countries also have the word “broast” in their names.
Many of our residents were introduced to Mary Browns when you sponsored our Kitefest event this past September. Any message for our residents?
Ayisha: If you haven’t tried us out, please do so. If you have, we hope to see you again and next time, say hello. Be sure to ‘like’ us on Facebook to stay up-to-date with news and promotions.