Mark Hemby was a successful investment banker in Birmingham, Alabama. He came to a point in his career where he decided that he needed to take a new direction. When someone asked him if he could do anything he wanted to do his first response without even thinking about it was “move to the beach and open a restaurant”. And in a roundabout way, he did! Food hospitality seemed to resonate with Hemby. He finds satisfaction in serving people. During the time he lived in Birmingham, he frequented one restaurant in particular. That restaurant happened to be original Taziki’s that first opened in 1998.
During his “crossroads” period, a mutual friend introduced Mark to Keith Richards, Birmingham resident and founder of Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe. Hemby subscribes to the philosophy that you have to believe in what you are selling and he was sold on Taziki’s. After some time and consideration he inquired about the Mobile/Baldwin territory and signed on to open his own. That was in April of 2015. The Daphne location opened this July.
Taziki’s is not your traditional Greek restaurant. They are Mediterranean inspired with a Southern influence. Simple ingredients, made from scratch recipes that focus on healthy approach to fast casual. There are no freezers, fryers or microwaves in the restaurant. The team at Taziki’s makes over 100 items in-house everyday. They cut their own fruit, vegetables and meat along with mixing their own sauces.
Another take away from the Mediterranean culture that is prevalent in the Taziki’s restaurants is the family friendly, casual environment. Each restaurant hosts a “community table” that is incorporated into the design of the dining area. Guests and large groups can interact with other while enjoying their meal. They also offer a beer and wine menu to enhance your meal and dining experience.
The menu includes appetizers of hummus, taziki dip or spicy pimento cheese – all served with soft or baked pita chips, soups and salads, fresh filled gyros with your choice of a variety of meats and veggies, Mediterranean deli sandwiches and full entree “feasts” that are served with a Greek salad and your choice of basmati rice or roasted new potatoes. The protein choices include chicken, beef or pork tenderloin, lamb, salmon, shrimp or tilapia. Sides include pasta salad, fresh fruit, tomato-cucumber salad, basmati rice or roasted new potatoes. Daily specials are displayed on a chalkboard and vegetarian and gluten free options are plentiful. Taziki’s also offers a Fresh Take Home Dinners for 4 that feature grilled chicken breasts, whole baked chicken, herb-roasted pork loin and grilled lamb. There is a children’s menu for kids 12 and under and desserts include baklava, chocolate cake and chocolate chip cookies.
This Alabama originated company also cares about the community. Taziki’s re-invests through sponsorships, food donations and by using local produce. They also sponsor the HOPE (“Herbs Offering Personal Enrichment”) Project, a vocational study partnership that allows special needs students to learn all aspects of the herb business. The Daphne location will partner with Daphne High School on this project.
If you haven’t already, be sure and stop by Taziki’s 59th location and welcome them to Baldwin County.
Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe, 1539 U.S. Highway 98, Suite 201, Daphne (251) 273-3337 • www.tazikicafe.com • Facebook “Tazikis Eastern Shore”