The owners of the recently opened Rooh’s Berlin Doner and Kebab at the Five Points in downtown Barrie want to combine quick service and nutritious food options to make it a go-to location for a healthy breakfast or lunch.
"We provide freshly made coffee with fresh shawarma and doner kebab. Other shawarma places usually serve only fizzy drinks and drip coffee. They don’t have anything like an espresso machine," said manager Lovepreet Singh.
Rooh’s Berlin Doner and Kebab is particularly aimed at the downtown business lunch-break crowd, Singh explained.
"Typically, in downtown Barrie people grab ... fresh tea and whole-bean coffee from places that don’t serve any meat," he said.
Singh also noted that people working at offices don’t have much time to go from shop to shop for lunch.
"They usually have 30 minutes and have to choose between having fresh food or a fresh drink," he added.
Singh says Rooh’s Berlin Doner and Kebab pairs convenience with a menu that includes only white meat, which is uncommon at many establishments serving the popular street food.
"We see a growing demand for white meat shawarma," said Singh, alluding to what he says is a strong healthy eating vibe in Canada.
The choice of lamb will also soon be offered, he said.
The menu sees classic choices such as shawarma served in a wrap or sandwich, alongside side dishes such as salad, rice and fries, while popular coffee choices at Rooh’s include Americano, espresso, latte, mocha, and cappuccino.
The new shawarma restaurant opened in mid-January, with plans to keep expanding the menu to include more healthy choices, such as freshly made juice for the season.
Centrally located on Dunlop and Bayfield streets, Rooh’s Berlin Doner and Kebab took over a small Tim Hortons location, which closed its doors this past summer.
The restaurant is owned by Pritam Kaur and Gurjant Khera, a couple from India who moved to Canada in 2011 and have been residents of Barrie since 2019.
Kaur is the executive chef and a passionate about cooking. At a young age, she says she drew inspiration from watching her father cooking.
“In my family, I was mostly surrounded by many cooks as my father used to cook special meals every weekend rather than usual meals," she said.
Kaur said cooking gives her immense satisfaction and reminds her of the joy of the old days back home.
“If the customer feedback is positive, this will even boost my passion," she added.
Khera, meanwhile, looks after the business aspects of the new venture and is further exploring the opportunity to possibly open food outlets on a larger scale in Barrie.
Singh told BarrieToday the proprietors have just signed up to open a third storefront location in Barrie this year, focused on shawarma and Japanese food for take-out.
Kaur and Khera also own the Indian-themed restaurant Amaya, located at 19 Hart Dr., in south-end Barrie.
For more information on the Rooh’s Berlin Doner and Kebab in Barrie, visit their Facebook page.