Laveen Kebab is a popular restaurant in Stockholm. Photo: Rudaw
STOCKHOLM, Sweden – A Kurdish restaurant owner in Sweden dreams of making his kebabs an international brand, bringing Kurdish flavours to the world.
“Almost every Kurd living in Sweden, if they visit Stockholm and do not eat at ‘Kebab Laveen’ it’s like they haven’t been to Stockholm,” said Susan, who lives four hours away from the Swedish capital. “I was in rush when I visited Stockholm, but I can’t resist coming to Laveen Kebab.”
There are more than 20 Kurdish restaurants in Stockholm. Most don’t last longer than a few years, but Laveen Kebab has been open for more than five years.
Usta Salman, known as Salman Hewleri, is the owner of ‘Laveen Kebab,’ told Rudaw about his aspirations.
“There are restaurants in this city which are about 600 years old. Why can’t we have something like that?” he asked.
Salman believes that the success of his restaurant is the ability to balance between original Kurdish flavours and the Sweden system of management. With his partner Aso, they plan to make their kebabs an international brand.
They are planning to open a series of six restaurants in Stockholm and then will expand into other cities and countries.
According to Sweden economic expert Stephan Johannsen, the restaurant business is not easy in Sweden’s competitive market.
The expert in marketing and economics told Rudaw that if Laveen Kebab becomes a famous brand, like Burger King, it would be a source of interest and pride to Kurds and foreigners.
Foreigners in Sweden have become successful in branding their traditional foods, like Thais and Indians, Johannsen said. He believes Laveen Kebab can see the same success.
“One of the reasons for success is consistency,” explained Salman. “I work here every day for more than 10 hours.”
Salman has lived in Sweden for 28 years. His daily income is $4,000.