Tamer Aktaş, Nelipide Gurme; “As Aktaşlar Lezzet Grubu, we are working to take pide to a certain taste standard in Turkey and to ensure its branding and also to make pide an indispensable element of daily meals, including breakfast. In addition to our restaurants providing service with 5 branches in Ordu and Istanbul, we have an assertive position in the sector, with our frozen pides that we started producing in 2012. On the other hand, with our new investment, namely Pideor, we are positioning ourselves in the fast food sector.”
Broke its shells after the second generation young people’s taking over the management, while it was a small pide restaurant in Ordu, Nelipide that operates under the roof of Aktaşlar Lezzet Grubu is rapidly growing. Tamer Aktaş, the Board of Directors Chairman, Nelipide Gurme that increased the number of its branches and made Turkey eat Ordu pide after having its product in Turkey’s largest chain stores states that their objective is to make the entire world taste Ordu pides.
As BBM Magazine, we asked Tamer Aktaş, the Board of Directors Chairman, Nelipide Gurme about the fast rise of the company. Here we read their future expectations and objectives from Aktaş, who recorded that they tended towards this market after realizing the demand for frozen borek abroad in the export sites, while making a research on business development…
Aktaşlar Lezzet Grubu is a corporation that provides service in several fields from cafes and restaurants to frozen products. Can you tell us about your group and how you started to work in such diverse fields and the process of emergence of your brand?
We were founded as a small pide restaurant in Ordu in 1981, and are currently working under the roof of Aktaşlar Lezzet Grubu with the services leading the food sector. As a family company dating back to 37 years ago, Aktaşlar Pide was founded in Ordu downtown as a pide restaurant with 8 tables by Nurettin and Cevdet Aktaş. Our brand has adopted the new generation operation understanding after I took over the management in 2001 and managed to increase number of its branches from one to three in its province and region. As the second generation of the family, I and my brother Samet Aktaş took the road to continue this business we took over from our older generation, went beyond the region in 2013 and founded our Nelipide Gurme brand to open branches all around Turkey. Today, we provide service with 5 restaurants of ours in Güzelyalı, Durugöl and Çarşı in Ordu as well as in Bağdat Street and Beylikdüzü in İstanbul. Our Beylikdüzü restaurant makes its guests meet with the tastes from Ordu, through the franchise system. As Aktaşlar Lezzet Group, we are working to take pide to a certain taste standard in Turkey and to ensure its branding and also to make pide an indispensable element of daily meals, including breakfast. In addition to our restaurants providing service with 5 branches in Ordu and İstanbul, we have an assertive position in the sector, with our frozen pides that we started manufacturing in 2012. On the other hand, with our new investment, namely Pideor, we are positioning ourselves in the fast food sector as of November.
The common point of these fields of service is pide and lahmacun that is commonly consumed in Turkey. Can you please summarize the position and importance of pide and lahmacun in Turkish society’s consumption habits, for our foreign readers?
We know that pide is accepted in the world culture, under different names. For us, pide, as one of the indispensable tastes of Turkish cousin, appeals people with different tastes. Turkish cuisine has a wide range, and one of the indispensable tastes among this diversity is pide. From our own culture, pide seems more attractive among the other options for many people. And we aim to introduce Ordu pide to the entire world.
Turning from a local restaurant in Ordu into a chain reaching several brands and branches is as important as reaching to the shelves of the significant markets in Turkey with frozen product. Can you share with us the secret of your success?
We never forget to make our work correctly and where our objectives are. We provide service with a quality understanding bearing several characteristics as cleanness, honesty, taste and localness. We adopt our values and preserve our characteristics that made us. As Aktaşlar Lezzet Group, we pay attention to not only preserving the tradition of our father, but also being a company that is open to technological innovations and new understandings. Success is gained with labor and time. We pay more attention to ensure its sustainability than reaching it. We just “do our job with love”. Pide is a passion for us, and we adopted the mission of promoting Turkish pide in every field, like Turkish delight. We created this business by looking at pide from the world, not at the world from pide.
You started producing frozen pide in 2012. How did you make the decision of shifting to such a production?
While making a research on business development, in the export sites I noticed the foreign demand for frozen borek, and asked myself why pide that we make with passion cannot spread out to the world. Then, I started to work on frozen pide. Our objective is “The entire world will taste this pide”.
Can you talk about your frozen pide production facility? What can you tell about your capacity, annual or monthly production quantities, the technologies you use and your product variety?
We produce frozen pide in our plant installed on a 4000-square meter indoor space in Ordu. Currently, without state-of-the-art machines, we produce 60,000 pides daily and our pide production capacity is 180,000/200,000 on a daily basis. We offer Ordu pide that can be prepared in a short time at home to the taste of consumers, in mince, cheese and veal cube sorts. Our pides offered to consumers under the brands Pidemiss, Nelipide and Aktaşlar are the choice of those who look for the traditional taste.
WE WILL SERVE PIDE ABOARD
So who is the target group of your frozen products? Through which channels do individual or corporate customers reach your products? Do you have any work for foreign customers or will there be?
Our target group is unlimited. We aim to reach everyone who likes pide. As Aktaşlar Lezzet Grubu, we export to Germany, England, Qatar and Georgia. The supermarkets Migros, File and BİM sell our frozen products. Then, we started to make sales to hotels. We also sell in high-speed trains. Soon, we will make an agreement with airlines. This work is about to close the sale. This way, the passengers will be offered pide during the flight.
How do you see the future of frozen products market? Can you tell us about your objectives?
When you go to supermarkets, you see that shelves of frozen products are expanding day by day. Particularly because all family members work today, we see that they prefer healthy and tasty frozen products that can be consumed fast. To meet this supply-demand balance, new players are entering into the sector and the sector is growing day by day in parallel with this increase. As Aktaşlar Lezzet Grubu, we made a difference with our high quality and additive-free products. Our objective is to preserve the same quality and reliability and to expand our market share. Our purpose is to make the consumer meet a very satisfactory brand. We take firm steps in this direction. Because as a pide company dating back to 37 years ago, we know pide and Ordu pide well and try to make everyone taste it.
How is the approach of the consumer towards frozen products? How do you think the healthy nutrition demand that became popular in the last years will reflect on consumption of this sort of products?
Freezing process is accepted as the best method to preserve the food for a long time. Freezing process stops microbiological activities in the products, of which temperature is reduced to -18 degrees and minimizes chemical and enzymatic activities. Thanks to the technology and speed of freezing process, the products’ taste and freshness are preserved for a long time, without using any additive. Products that are shocked in their freshest form preserve their freshness until they are defrosted and used. While nutritional value of the products that underwent fast freezing process is preserved just as it is in the first day, products that are consumed fresh started to lose both their nutritional value and taste from the moment they are produced. This natural preservation method applied without using any chemical preservative not only preserves the product’s freshness and taste, but also prevents microorganisms from increasing. We make our pides frozen in -40 degrees reach you in frigorific vehicles of -18 degrees. We manufacture with our products grown naturally and do not use no additive in any of our products. As long as you meet the storage conditions, it is not possible to have any health issues. Today, people who have tight work schedules in urban life long for delicious, easy-to-reach and healthy tastes. At this point, we believe our products will be demanded more.
As Aktaşlar Lezzet Grubu, do you have any investments planned to be made soon?
We plan to be involved in the fast food sector with Pideor. Pideor will be a healthy brand that makes its tasty pides reach the consumer very fast. Our people like having these pides on the site, but because they cannot find pide in the same standard and quality, cannot turn it into a habit. Because Pideor is to provide service with the same quality and standard in every region, it will be a brand to make people gain the habit of eating pide. We aim to reach 10 branches until the end of the year. And in total we aim to have 400 branches.