Owned and operated by Alexander Fraser, Garbanzo’s is a pandemic-born pop-up restaurant offering an assortment of items on the menu. Garbanzo’s started at the beginning of the pandemic and continues to grow offering Mediterranean inspired food with plant-based options.

“Garbanzo’s was a product of the pandemic. I wanted to be able to serve the community throughout the lockdown, so I knew I had to shift to a takeout-heavy business model. We opened in April 2021 at Shelter in the Beltline on the weekends and have never looked back.”

This summer, Fraser has his eye on expansion.

“I’m trying to build this into a casual food establishment that people really enjoy spending time at,” said Fraser, “We spend a great deal of time preparing and perfecting our menu for our customers to enjoy and I think that will always be the driving force behind our business. We want to work with and empower great people within our company.”

Starting in the industry at a young age, Fraser went abroad, working for various chefs and restaurants, eventually landing an executive chef role at Pigeonhole on 17th Ave. S.W.  at the age of 25.

“I have worked for a ton of great chefs in my career. Each of them has taught me something different and shaped me into who I am today. Since then, it has been a nonstop journey of moving up in the kitchen and working in better and better restaurants.”

With extensive experience and an opportunity for a brief period of reflection created by the pandemic, Fraser saw a chance to put his passion into something he could create on his own.

“I always knew I wanted to own my own business and Garbanzo’s is my way of channelling my love for the industry in a much more casual setting,” said Fraser,” We’re just having fun with it, and it’s only going to grow and get better from here.”

Fraser focuses on quality over quantity and is committed to authenticity and affordability.

“I think what I want people to know is that there are no gimmicks with Garbanzo’s. We want to create an environment where people feel comfortable and where they can enjoy affordable food that nourishes them and gets them excited. That’s really what we care about, and we will continue to do that for many years to come.”

Fraser continues to look for new ways to improve Garbanzo’s, hoping to open their first bricks-and-mortar location in Crescent Heights in late 2022 and for that to be the first of many to come.

“I do my job because this is what I wake up every day wanting to do. I love the fast-paced environment of kitchens and I love problem solving. I can’t see myself doing anything else.”

For more information and to check out Garbanzo’s menu, you can visit garbanzos.ca or you can visit their Instagram page @garbanzosyyc.

Story by Seth Jameson
Photo Credit: Garbanzo’s