Oodle Noodle Plans Substantial Store Expansion in Alberta and Western Canada

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Being part of the community and giving back to it has been a part of Edmonton-based Oodle Noodle since it was first opened about 12 years ago by Sonny Pham.

And that has been even more important in recent weeks as the authentic Asian restaurant has stepped up to help different charities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“One of the things we do better than many others is we have a very strong community presence,” said Ziad Kaddoura, general manager of the company, who is mainly in charge of business development and running the day-to-day operations.

“We do donations and charity work throughout the year but since COVID-19 started, every week we’re donating about 300 pounds of noodles and sauces to the different food banks or charities. So far we’ve donated close to 2,000 pounds. And we try to pick different charities.

“The other thing we started doing about three weeks ago is 10 percent of our walk-in sales end up being donated to community charities. And on a weekly basis we’re donating about $3,000 in hard cash money to these local charities. These are charities that are not able to get funding from other people. So they’re very small charities. It could be anything to do with kids that have pressure because of COVID-19. It could be women’s shelters. It could be whatever. That community work that we’re doing is paying back because basically our community has been very supportive of the work that we’ve done.”

The first restaurant was on Whyte Avenue. Today the company has 13 locations with the 14th opening in mid-July in Edmonton.

“They’re all in Edmonton, Spruce Grove, Sherwood Park, and Leduc for now,” said Kaddoura, who has been in the food business for more than 30 years.

SPRUCE GROVE LOCATION. PHOTO: CANADA247

The way the brand has grown in locations is the company looked at the key neighbourhoods where they could put in a store to serve that neighbourhood. None of the stores are cannibalizing other stores but at the same time the brand is serving everyone.

Kaddoura said he doesn’t think the company can grow much more in Edmonton other than maybe up to two or three more stores in the city.

“We’re looking at putting a store in St. Albert. We’re looking at putting a store in the centre north end of the city like the Castle Downs area. Because we have our supply solution and all our product comes pre-packed and pre-portioned it makes it easy for the product to be transported to other cities,” said Kaddoura. “And we have a strong also central support team, so now we’re starting to look at Calgary and we’re looking at opening maybe three stores next year.

PHOTO: UBER EATS

“I do believe that Calgary could see 10 to 12 stores easily. We will be looking at opening a store in Grande Prairie, a store in Fort McMurray. My plan is to move to about 40 stores by 2025 in Alberta. Once we hit the 40 then we can start going beyond and looking at B.C., looking at Saskatchewan, looking at other areas.”

Kaddoura said one of the keys to the business success of Oodle Noodle is how well things are streamlined in its operation.

“Our operation is a very easy operation for any franchisee to take on,” he said. “We have a very strong relationship with our franchisees. We meet quarterly with them making sure they’re happy with what we’re doing.

“The other thing that makes Oodle Noodle very unique is we have our own factory where we produce our fresh noodles and our fresh sauces. We have three different noodles and 12 sauces. So basically putting the noodles and the sauces together gives you a meal. And then we’ve got some rice dishes.”

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