Kech Café popped-up inside Shell gas station seven-years ago with a mission to serve fresh food in a convenience atmosphere. Since its inception, Kech has been featured in the LA Times and named Yelps Top 100 Places to Eat in 2015 and 2018. The owner has no plans of slowing down.
Harry Kechejian opened his Armenian-Lebanese cafe with the help of his mother and old family recipes. “Armenian food uses lemon, vinegar and olive oil as a base,” Kechejian explains. Traditional Armenian-Lebanese fare is prepared in front of you with homemade, fresh ingredients. “The Kech Potato Salad, Kidney Bean Mushroom Salad and Pasta Salad are all how my mom makes them at home. If you come to our house for dinner, that is what you will be eating!” Kechejian says with a smile.
Kechejian’s business philosophy is to rely on volume, rather than increase prices. “I wanted to make it affordable to cater to all demographics. People going to fast food who don’t normally go to restaurants, I want them to have good, clean food and be able to afford it. Instead of going to McDonalds, come here,” Kechejian said.
Kechs’ most popular items including the Pesto Chicken Sandwich, Sundried Tomato Aioli Chicken Wrap, Zaatar and Feta Cheese pizza and Kechs’ infamous garlic sauce (Lebanese Toum,) are all $5.50 or under. A meal under $8 is the norm at Kech.
“Our Signature ingredient is homemade garlic sauce, which is vegan. The traditional Lebanese Toum. It’s what garlic sauce should taste like! We only use four ingredients: lemon juice, garlic, salt and canola oil. It took me six months to master our Garlic Sauce!” Kechejian proudly exclaims.
Kechjian makes everything from scratch and can customize any order. “I would not serve something that I would not eat. The food quality will always stay the same or get better. I believe once you change the quality then everything changes,” Kechejiansaid.“I try to have things that are as pure as possible.I will never sell fried items or items unappealing to health.”
A lot of people come in and say this place is great. It works both ways. You have great customers that bring positive energy to the establishment because they know they’re going to get a smile.
A Fountain Valley local, Kechejian grew up helping in his parents’ deli in the 80s. From there he transitioned to Starbucks and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. “I have all the know-how and food background. With my mom, and with her help, it was a no-brainer to do my own thing,” Harry said.
Inspired by his roots, Kech Café blossomed out of Kechejian’s genuity and knowledge. “I always support every type of business. I’m not a greedy person by nature. Not everyone can eat the same thing every day. People want variety,” Kechejian said. “I thought ‘how awesome would it be to introduce Mediterranean flavors to a traditional sandwich shop?’ People can have a taste of our cuisine!”
Kechejian possesses a Bioscience degree and a background in health and fitness. He also taught hip-hop dance and singing in a Depeche Mode cover band. He really is as cool as he seems. Walk through the door and you willget a warm greeting and easy conversation.“This place is where I want people to be uplifted. Anyone can do a transaction and that’s not what I want. I want the experience of tasting delicious home-made food,” Kechejian said.
For a café with a lot to offer Kechejian says he chose the gas station because it fit his operation the best. “I wanted to find something that made sense. Since this was already a Subway it was set up 75%, so I added the cafe aspect to go full on,” Kechejian said. “I thought how cool it would be to serve quality food for convenience versus gas station food. We are completely independent from the gas station, we just rent space inside it.”
Kech Café offers catering and delivery via DoorDash, UberEats, GrubHub, PostMates or OfficeExpress.
Come on in to Kech at 17966 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708
(714) 968-1122 / KechCafe.com
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