Mo’s Best Kebabs in Trowbridge up for national food award
A BORN and bred Trowbridge resident is ready to 'pita' himself against his food rivals after being shortlisted for the British Kebab Awards.
For seven days a week, Driss Zekri runs Mo’s Best Kebabs takeaway van, which is set up in Mortimer Street, and is open for business from 5pm-1am.
After being involved in the business since the tender age of 16, the 33-year-old has made the business his own, selling kebabs, burgers, chicken, wraps, chips and drinks.
As the reputation of the business grew, his admirers continued to bloom, so much so that he has now been nominated in the best kebab van section of the 2018 British Kebab Awards.
“I am just over the moon. It shows that my loyal customers are very happy with the service I provide and word has spread,” he said.
“This is not something you aim for when you have a business but it is a fantastic bit of news and publicity for the place.
“I have a five-star hygiene rating and business is good. I feel honoured to have been shortlisted against five other entrants in this category and hopefully I can go one step further and win the whole thing.”
Members of the public nominated a record 5,012 of their favourite kebab shops and these were whittled down to a shortlist of 153 based on the number of public votes received - with bonus points for nominations from MPs and councillors.
“It is pretty amazing to have made it this far to be honest,” he said.
“We source all our food locally, which is a bonus, and people like what we provide them.
“People are surprised that I work seven days a week but I am a workaholic. I come to the van at 3pm, get everything cleaned and prepared before opening up for business at 5pm. If you want to make it you need to go the extra mile to succeed.”
Mr Zekri, who is of Moroccan descent, pays Wiltshire Council £3,500 a year to set up in the layby near The Lamb pub.
“What I like about being here is that people also come to me just to have a good chat,” said Mr Zekri, who has a wife and a six-month old daughter.
“I feel very welcome and I can talk to locals and be a sort of agony aunt, it is good fun. I am looking forward to heading down to London for the awards show.”
The winners of the sixth annual awards will be announced after a final round of judging by the British Kebab Awards judges. These include former Conservative chairman Baroness Warsi, Children’s and Families’ Minister Nadhim Zahawi, Shadow Economic Secretary Jonathan Reynolds, Amjad Bashir MEP and Heart Radio presenter Lucy Horobin.
More than 1,200 guests are expected to attend the awards in the ballroom of the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel on March 12.