Georgie’s Shawarma: Delicious Syrian Cuisine in Sault Ste. Marie.
Journey to Canada
The story of Georgie’s Shawarma started long before the restaurant opened in downtown Sault Ste. Marie. To say that owner George Al Khoury George is a proud and passionate person is an understatement! George took me through a series of events starting with the fact he is originally from Damascus, Syria. During the war in Syria, he went to Lebanon for five years and worked for the UNWF, the United Nations World Food Program. He became a site assessor, organizing food distribution for refugees. He was also a freelance journalist, photographer, and musician. In addition, he organized a refugee music festival in Barbados, cooking for over 1,200 people during his time there operating his business. During these years, George learned a lot about food.
George told me, “I always hope and find the light. I always wanted to work in the hospitality industry.” Through contacts he made over the years, George became aware of sponsors who wanted to help Syrian refugees. He was offered an opportunity to come to Canada, more specifically to Sault Ste. Marie. In 2017 he made his way to Canada through a fellow journalist from the Sault and other sponsors. He stayed with one of his sponsors after arriving while getting settled. George started working with the Community Career Centre in the Sault assisting newcomers as a job coach. He also volunteered at the soup kitchen. “This was now my community and I wanted to be a part of it,” he told me. With the help of the BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada) in writing a business plan and financing, in 2019 he opened Georgie’s Shawarma at 75 Elgin Street.
What's On The Menu
“Food brings people together and I wanted to bring Syrian food to the people of Sault Ste. Marie.” Opening with authentic Syrian dishes on the menu. Georgie’s ensures everything is made from scratch and the food is fresh and healthy. Even the spices are freshly ground. His famous flatbread and hummus have become a big hit with his customers. Popular menu items include Georgie’s ‘Untraditional’ Chicken Shawarma over yellow rice and salad, topped with garlic sauce and pomegranate molasses, and in-house made lentil soup. Crispy falafel fritters are made with chickpeas, garlic, onion, cilantro, leek, parsley, and a blend of fresh ground spices.
Falafel, shawarma wraps with slow roasted chicken thigh with garlic sauce, pickled cucumber, and pomegranate molasses, served on saj bread. Baba Ghanoush is also offered, which is roasted eggplant dip with tahini, garlic & and lemon, served with saj bread. For dessert, Georgie’s makes delicious baklava, which is a layered pastry filled with nuts & and sweetened with rosewater syrup.
“Most of my business is take-out, with the rest dine-in style. I also have six staff members working with me,” added George. “Catering is offered when there is a demand.” I asked him about his future plans for the restaurant and he told me he wants to expand the kitchen and start producing hummus and flatbread wholesale so that he can sell his products to retailers and other restaurants.
George is well settled in the Sault now with a thriving business and a new family of his own. I am so glad I kept Georgie’s Shawarma on my list of businesses to interview, what a pleasure to meet him! The food is fantastic and its owner an inspiration, with nothing stopping his determination and dreams. Congratulations George!
Georgie’s Shawarma, Authentic Syrian Cuisine
Owner: George Al Khoury
75 Elgin Street, Sault Ste. Marie
Open Monday to Saturday from 11:30 am - 5:30 pm
Eat-in dining and take-out