Raffe Papazian and Anthony Torian are perfectionists.
When they decided to bring a Hummus Republic Modern Mediterranean Kitchen franchise to Scottsdale, they needed everything to be just right first — especially because the lunch competition is fierce.
“We didn’t want to open prematurely,” Papazian says.
The two spent a year working with interior designers and other contractors to configure the eatery, which eventually opened on March 21 at the Scottsdale Promenade, between Rinaldi’s Deli and a UPS store.
“This was the target area,” Torian says. “If you’re going to launch a new concept, this is the area you want to do it in because of the traffic and the different brands that surround it.”
Hummus Republic had 20 restaurants in California, New Jersey, Texas and Washington before landing at the Promenade. The two discovered the brand after they visited a California location.
“We went out to California, and after we tried the food, we fell in love with it,” Torian recalls. “After that, we spoke to the owners of that franchise and started moving on from there.”
After securing the space, the next job was to find a general manager. Papazian found the perfect person.
“I was working at Five Guys at the time, and I was doing my thing when the phone rang and it was Raffe,” general manager Nicholas Marano recalls. “He told me I had served one of his friends and he said, ‘They loved you. They thought you were fantastic. They loved your work ethic, and they loved how you kept the crew happy.’ I just wanted to know if I could get you in here for an interview.”
Fortunately for Papazian, Marano was eyeing a change of scenery and accepted the role, something in which he sees a lot of potential.
“There’s nothing more exciting than being part of an expanding company and a new company,” Marano says. “There’s so much growth and opportunity that can present itself, and I’m no longer limited to waiting for someone to pass the torch. The torches are lit every day, and I just have to reach out and grab it. About 90% of this group that we have working here followed me over, too.”
At Hummus Republic, guests create their own meal, starting with a pita, wrap or bowl. From there, they choose a base like organic Mediterranean couscous, warm garbanzo beans, kale, farmers mix or spinach; the type of hummus, ranging from traditional to roasted eggplant hummus; a protein and then toppings. Protein includes Moroccan steak, lemon chicken, chicken shawarma, vegan beef, falafel and mushroom shawarma.
“Everything is prepared fresh daily,” Torian says. “All of our sauces are made in-house, and even the falafels are all dropped in the fryer as soon as they’re ordered.”
The favorites among the staff vary.
“I’m pretty crazy about the Moroccan steak,” Papazian says with a laugh.
“The thing I’ve been ordering lately has been the street-style sweet potato fries, which comes with eggplant, fried jalapeños, chickpea croutons, kale salad, pickled red cabbage, olives, feta and tahini,” Marano says.
16211 Scottsdale Road, Suite A5, Scottsdale
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