Previous to starting the company in 2011, Zakir Hussein had an acute interest in renewable energy and found some evidence of algae having characteristics to be made into biofuel. His interest soon turned into passion and he began to grow algae in his parent’s basement. This caused comical problems for him and his family as he had visits from the police with questions in regards to what was growing in the families basement, assuming it was drug related. Police laughed when they found it was just a science nerd growing his algae. The technology for renewable energy with algae is just not advanced enough yet so his attentions then turned to used cooking oil.Our first restaurant was an East Indian restaurant in Calgary owned by friends of the Hussein family. After that Zakir personally started approaching restaurant by restaurant with little to offer besides fulfilling a young man’s dreams and passions. Our first facility was in Acme, Alberta an hour away from Calgary. The distance was hard however the rent was cheap. Due to the distance Zakir often spent nights at the warehouse to save on driving time and gas cost.
Before any staff were hired the responsibility of obtaining new clients, making and dropping of the bins, picking up their cooking oil waste and the refining of the product was all shared amongst the family between their full time jobs and schooling. After all of these duties became too much for the family to bare by themselves staff were hired and a new facility was acquired in North East Calgary. In 2012 a labourer and sales associate were added to the ECO DINE family who are both still with the company today!
In 2013 after completing her degree in psychology at the University of British Columbia Zakir`s sister Azra took over the company, with Zakir moving on to pursue other passions. The small team of labourers had now grown to 3 as more partnering restaurants had joined forces with ECO DINE. By now ECO DINE was in a place to start offering clients value as a thank you for being eco-friendly and recycling. We then also partnered up with The Boys and Girls Club and started bringing in our chefs from the restaurants we service to teach the children of The Boys and Girls Club cooking skills for when they become independent from the shelters.
Today ECO DINE is thriving with just 4 laborers, the regional account manager and Azra Hussein. Each employee working with ECO DINE strives to better the lives of people in the community, our laborers collecting bottles they find in back alleys and giving them to homeless people they come across on their oil pick up route. Each individual at ECO DINE is dedicated to bettering the planet and the world we live in with our zero waste solutions always coming up with new ways to reduce, re-use and recycle. Our friendly staff are committed and enthusiastic about customer service making friends with restaurant owners, kitchen staff and whomever they come across while servicing establishments.
As a local family owned company most of our staff have been with us from day one and we have become our own little ECO DINE family who welcome all restaurants and establishments with open arms.