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From cart to suite: Proud ASU alumni spark growth in the local crêperie business

Former Sun Devils work hard to make their mark with their popular pastries

Fares Tarabici prepares a crepe at The Crepe Club in Biltmore Fashion Park on Oct.18, 2016.

Fares Tarabici prepares a crepe at The Crepe Club in Biltmore Fashion Park on Oct.18, 2016.

For those familiar with ASU’s Tempe campus, there has been a disappearance of a certain crepe cart from the collection of usual food trucks.

The Crepe Club, which started out as an a la carte option for ASU students, was run by brothers Fares, Karim and Omar Tarabici, three ASU alumni who have a great passion for making crepes.

The brothers will soon be taking their business to Gilbert and opening their second physical location at the SanTan Mall.

Fares Tarabici, 28, said crepes have always been a staple food in his family.

“We’ve been eating crepes for as long as I can remember,” Tarabici said. “My brothers and I have always been fans of crepes. Whenever we went to Paris, that was the first thing we ever did.”

Tarabici said he didn’t immediately jump into the crepe business, and because of his childhood experience, he was interested.

After graduating from college, Tarabici said he spent a couple years in Paris for a non-profit before heading to Dubai to do government work. His tenure into the crepe business began after his return to the U.S.

Tarabici’s first business concept was a crepe cart which found a home at the ASU Tempe campus.

“We are extremely proud Sun Devils,” Tarabici said. “We bleed maroon and gold.”

Six months ago, The Crepe Club upgraded from its food cart establishment to its first official in-store restaurant located at Biltmore Fashion Park.

During Thanksgiving week, it will open its second in-store location in the SanTan Mall in Gilbert.

“We are aiming to open a day before Thanksgiving, but that’s looking very shaky, so it should be around Thanksgiving,” Tarabici said. “Hopefully the day after Thanksgiving it’ll definitely be open.”

Tarabici said he values the support of his family and employees because without them, he would not have been able to realize his dreams.

“These guys help me build it,” Tarabici said. “I work hard, but they work just as hard. I always tell them, ‘if you help me build my dream, I’ll help you build yours.’”

Tarabici said he spends hours in the crêperie every day, and he also said perseverance has proved successful in his endeavors.

“The hardest part is dedication,” Tarabici said. “You have to do it all. I don't know what it is about the universe, but before it gets really good, it gets really hard. If it was easy, everyone would do it.”

Marissa Kelley, 19, who has been working for The Crepe Club for about five months, said working for the Tarabici brothers has been a wonderful experience.

“I came in here and it turned my world upside down,” Kelley said. “I didn’t think that I would fall in love with the family and the food … They are some of the most genuine, beautiful people that I have ever met in my life, and it makes it easy to come to work.”

With the upcoming Gilbert location, Kelley said she is hopeful this location will succeed just as well as the Biltmore location.

“I think the Gilbert location will be great,” Kelley said. “I think everyone deserves to try all of this food.”

ASU junior exercise and wellness major Michelle Hoang, who is originally from Gilbert, said she ate at The Crepe Club a month ago.

Hoang said she is glad The Crepe Club is expanding into her hometown.

“I think it’s amazing that they are opening new locations, and it is spread all over the Valley instead of one condensed area,” Hoang said.

Upon walking inside of the crêperie, she said she could feel the love and support the brothers, employees and customers shared.

“I felt really welcome,” Hoang said. “The Biltmore is an upscale shopping plaza, so I was expecting it to be intimidating, but I got the nicest vibes and it was definitely welcoming.”

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