For Nasir Alhuttam, the heart of his business is to form strong relationships with regular and new customers.For Nasir Alhuttam, the heart of his business is to form strong relationships with regular and new customers.

Fifteen years in the past Nasir Alhuttam opened a sizzling canine stand – regardless of by no means having the profession plan to take action.

#StarEats is a month-to-month sequence the place our viewers crew helps readers get to know the individuals and tales behind a number of the metropolis’s hottest eateries and people who are breaking into the meals highlight.

If you stroll as much as Nasir’s Scorching Canine Stand, you possibly can count on to be welcomed by proprietor Nasir Alhuttam with a heat smile and a riddle.

In entrance of his stand sits a small blackboard on which he writes a weekly riddle for purchasers to resolve. This week, the board reads: “What has a thumb and 4 fingers, however will not be a hand?”

The primary buyer to reply appropriately will get 50 per cent off their order; the reply was: “glove.”

For greater than 15 years, Alhuttam has been serving avenue meals and constructing bonds with clients throughout Scarborough, the place he has lived all his life.

Two of his hottest orders are his chili canine — that includes chili that Alhuttam’s spouse helps prepare dinner each morning — and his jerk canine. These, and the remainder of his menu, are all halal.

Inside his stand is a shelf loaded with greater than a dozen completely different sauces, lots of which Alhuttam makes himself. His “secret sauce” is a buyer favorite — he’s usually requested to promote it by the jar. He received’t reveal the recipe, however describes it as a balanced mixture of spicy and candy, with hints of curry.

His "secret sauce" is a customer favourite ? he's often asked to sell it by the jar. He won't divulge the recipe, but describes it as a balanced combination of spicy and sweet, with hints of curry.

Presently, his two stands could be discovered at 3665 Lawrence Ave E. (Lawrence Avenue East and Markham Street) and at 278 Outdated Kingston Rd. (Outdated Kingston Street and Navy Path).

However for almost all of his tenure, he was proper on the campus of the College of Toronto Scarborough.

Alhuttam opened his campus stand in 2007 and have become a beloved avenue vendor there. He remembered college students’ orders and sometimes exchanged humorous tales and quips with them reasonably than silently work the grill whereas they waited.

“College students have been at all times searching for one thing fast, one thing tasty that they might eat whereas strolling to class, so that they at all times most popular to come back to me,” he mentioned

Proudly owning and working a sizzling canine stand was not at all times part of Alhuttam’s profession plan however, in 2006, when he was laid off from his job as a machine operator, a good friend requested him to assist handle a stand at York College.

“I fell in love with the shoppers, with the job, with my service,” he mentioned. “And that’s the time I knew what I’m good at … After which I obtained impressed to open my very own.”

The jerk dog is one of the most popular orders.

The next yr Alhuttam arrange store at U of T Scarborough and shortly discovered affirmation that being his personal boss was the fitting path for him.

“Individuals are going by quite a bit however after they come right here, if they will neglect these issues for not less than a second and benefit from the meals, that’s what issues,” he mentioned.

Then the pandemic hit in 2020 and Alhuttam, like so many different small companies, needed to pivot. For him, it meant eliminating self-serve condiment stands and providing his meals by supply providers like Uber Eats and DoorDash.

In 2021, with extra school, employees and college students working on-line, and fewer individuals on the Scarborough campus, Alhuttam determined to relocate off campus.

Whereas Alhuttam appears to be a one-man-show, he credit his success — and his skill to run two stands — to his household and employees. Alhuttam primarily runs the Lawrence Avenue East location, whereas his employees and son assist run the stand at Outdated Kingston Street.

Moreover, his daughter Hiba, whom he calls his social media supervisor, launched his Instagram web page,, the place many loyal clients and college students are featured, hyping up his stand.

Nasir Alhuttam operates two dog stands,  on Lawrence Avenue East and Old Kingston Road.

“Should you’re in Scarborough and are searching for sizzling canine, my brother right here cooks the very best sizzling canines on the planet,” one scholar says in a video compilation, earlier than taking a big chunk into one.

“You guys ought to do this, the very best sizzling canine on the town,” one other scholar says in a second clip, pointing to his order.

Earlier than there have been meals vehicles and pop-up festivals, hot-dog carts have been the star of Toronto’s avenue meals scene. Whereas in the present day they’re extra frequent within the downtown core, Alhuttam hopes his various menu will entice individuals from throughout the GTA to go to.

“Avenue meals is recent and other people at all times wish to strive completely different meals,” Alhuttam mentioned, “in order avenue distributors, you at all times must have some distinctive type of meals; it’s not an easy menu like in eating places.”

Although, for Alhuttam, his essential aim, on the coronary heart of his enterprise, is to proceed to kind sturdy relationships with common and new clients.

“When (individuals) come right here, it’s not simply to get the meals,” he mentioned. “I would like them to be comfy, to be completely happy.”


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