Growing up as the fifth oldest son of a Turkish working-class family in Istanbul, Turkey, Selim Cevirgen has always had a passion for meat. Already at the age of 11, Selim started working at a butchery after school and proudly provided his family with the best of meats. Seeking better working conditions, he moved to Germany in 1988. With the step from the megacity Istanbul to a small town in Germany, he quickly realized the lack of food variety and started his very first business with a red food trailer, selling traditional Turkish Doner Kebap.
Ten years later the first company as such was built. Selim’s Doner Kebap was initially founded in the year of 1998 in Ramstein, Germany. What originally started out as a restaurant-project in 1992, quickly proved to be a significant milestone in the history of Selim’s Doner Kebap. The company produced meats for the troops at the biggest U.S. Air Force Bases in and around Ramstein. With steady growth of restaurants on Bases worldwide, came the growing demand for a facility overseas.
As the first restaurant overseas was established in 2005 on the Military Base in Fort Hood, Texas, the decision on starting a production facility in the close proximity had been made. The idea of a production facility came with the need for traditional Turkish Doner Kebap, which as such did not yet exist on the U.S. food market. In order to distinguish the traditional Turkish taste of Doner from Gyros, the very first Doner production facility in the United States of America has been opened in the year of 2006.
Ever since, Selim’s can proudly look back on 25 years of market leadership in Europe and a significant growth rate in the last 10 years in the U.S.