Meet the family who have been running Oz Turk for over 14 years, and the new owners, brothers Fadi and Rami. In Melbourne meet the ambitious young Indian couple who run Smith Kebabs.
2 Nov 2015 - 2:05 PM  UPDATED 16 Jun 2020 - 10:03 AM

Fatima and Nafi

Former owners of Oz Turk, Sydney

Fatima and her husband Nafi built Oz Turk into a local institution over 14 ­years of hard work and sacrifice. Throughout those years they and their son Ufuk would work 12-16 hour shifts, six days a week. Often they would only see each other in passing as they did handovers at the shop. During this time they also managed to raise four children.

Working in kebab shops was a window into Australian life, especially for Fatima. Originally from Turkey, working in the shops, she taught herself to speak English and gained an insight into Aussie life.

When Nafi and Fatima bought Oz Turk he wanted to call the shop “Hungry Nafi” but he and Fatima finally settled on “Oz Turk” -­ Aussie Turkish - a nod to their Turkish heritage.

For 14 years Nafi worked the night shift, facing the drunk, sometimes violent crowds with seemingly never ending patience. A devoted father and husband, he longs to spend more time with his wife and grandchildren and is hard at work building his own outdoor cooking and entertaining area, a mini Oz Turk, in his own backyard.

 

Ufuk

Son of Fatima and Nafi, Oz Turk, Sydney 

Ufuk has spent his whole life around kebabs, virtually born in his mother’s first store in Summer Hill, Sydney. After spending most afternoons and weekends in his Mum’s kebab shop, Ufuk made and served his first kebab aged 12, a moment he describes with great pride.

Ufuk now runs his own shop, OZ TURK JR, based in Redfern, Sydney. Like Fatima he loves talking with his customers, and the hustle and bustle and instant reward of food service. He’s striving to find the balance between being a small business owner and having a social and family life.

 

Fadi and Rami

Current owners of Oz Turk, Sydney 

Syrian brothers Fadi 27, and Rami 25, had always planned to go into business together after graduating – but had no idea that business would be owning a kebab shop until taking over local institution Oz Turk on Sydney’s ‘Angry Mile’ of George Street.

When Oz Turk went up for sale they felt it was an opportunity they couldn’t turn down. Figuring it was a less competitive market than the café business, and considering it’s great location, they jumped at the chance to purchase the shop from Fatima and Nafi.

Having graduated from studying accounting and business diplomas respectively in the past year, they’re now working seven days a week to keep the shop open all hours. But with no previous experience in the food service industry they’re struggling to adjust to running the shop, managing the hours and motivating staff. They see Oz Turk as a starting point in their business career – but can they make it work?

 

Mustafa and Zareena 

Owners of Smith Kebabs, Melbourne 

In just 8 years together in Australia, this ambitious young couple from Hyderabad, India, have built the Australian dream for themselves and their two children Annika and Abyan.

With a family home, two children, two cars and their own kebab business, they’re now planning to expand their “drunk food” empire and become the kebab kings of Collingwood, Melbourne.

They’ve re-mortgaged their home, risking everything on a pizza-­arm and expanding their home delivery service. The pressure is on for their loyal staff to deliver during the most crucial three weeks of the year. But it takes its toll on the young family, as they struggle to balance running their own business with family life.

 

 

What really goes on in the world of kebab shops? Kebab Kings is a three-part series that lifts the lid on the great Australian multicultural institution. Stream now at SBS On Demand (until 30 June 2020).

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