Instead of building homes, Tim Delamatter is building burgers.
The former carpenter recently opened The Hot Burger, Chilliwack’s spicy new burger joint, with business partner Kumar Kanagasabay.
The two met after Kanagasabay answered a business-proposal ad that Delamatter had placed on Craig’s List.
Kanagasabay, whose background is in information technology and who’s also co-owner of a trucking/courier business, was intrigued by the ad and ready to start a new business.
“I’ve always believed in the food industry, but had no idea how to do anything… like how to boil an egg,” he says.
Delamatter was ready, too. After two years of culinary school, he worked as a chef at a correctional centre and at the hospital. He also trained himself to get used to the fast-food industry.
“I was in a farmers’ market for a few years (working a food truck). I wanted to understand what it was like to work in a fast-paced environment,” he says.
The two met in the spring, put together a well-thought out business plan, and opened The Hot Burger in July. They are a great match. Kanagasabay takes care of the business end of things, and Delamatter does the food prep, training and cooking.
The restaurant’s signature burger is the spicy hot burger. It’s hot… really hot. Not many people can handle the heat, they both say. The spiciness comes from Delamatter’s homemade chipotle mayo.
“Tim’s cooking is excellent,” says Kanagasabay.
They also have their original plain burger, and veggie burger. Both the spicy burger and plain burger are available as a single patty or double.
Other items on the menu include chicken, Montreal smoked meat, poutine and hot dogs. All of the chicken and burgers are char-grilled.
Their plan is to start small. For the first three months they’ll be fine-tuning their menu — they’ve already nixed a number of items that weren’t popular.
“Our motto is ‘simple food, done right’,” says Delamatter.
That line is printed right below the restaurant’s name. Kanagasabay’s 14-year-old son Abishek and nine-year-old daughter Anushka came up with the name ‘The Hot Burger’.
His other daughter, 11-year-old Sahana, proudly drew the logo which features a smiling burger with flames and hot peppers. The red and black colours on the logo have been used on the restaurant’s small interior and furniture.
The Hot Burger is primarily a take-away food spot, but there are a handful of seats to eat inside.
In the future, they’re looking to sponsoring a sports team, and they’re hoping a UFV student will do a practicum with them. If The Hot Burger is successful by December, Kanagasabay wants to franchise and open another restaurant in the Fraser Valley.
“We have to make sure it’s making money first,” he says.
They also offer a special price to RCMP, firefighters and paramedics.
“We offer a 10 per cent discount if you’re in uniform. We really want to be a part of Chilliwack,” says Delamatter.