About Us
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About Us

Feeding Campus life since 1976

The Delly story begins decades ago far away from the idyllic grounds of the University of British Columbia. It is a story of family values, courage, determination and a passion for service.

The story begins in Nairobi, Kenya, the birthplace of the Rajan brothers. Being born into an entrepreneurial family, the brothers learnt business fundamentals from an early age. As young men, they channeled their entrepreneurial spirit into building a restaurant, bar and cinema complex in East Africa that become a mainstay for locals and international guests.

“...the happiness, satisfaction and loyalty of such a dynamic and wonderful clientele, motivates me every day.”

The Rajan brothers involvement with The Delly began in 1976. Forced to leave Africa in 1974 as part of the fall out from Idi Amin’s reign of terror in Uganda, the Rajan brothers and their young families settled in Vancouver and despite the hardship they had faced in leaving Africa, set out to start again and attain a new life of happiness and achievement in their new home country, Canada.

The Rajan brothers shared a tireless work ethic, a strong set of values and ethics and an absolute love of people. At the Delly UBC, they found an ideal opportunity to build a business that they could grow and be proud of. What began as a simple outfit selling submarine sandwiches grew each year and The Delly now proudly serves a varied menu of faculty, staff and student favourites including made to order fresh sandwiches, mouthwatering curries, scrumptious snacks including samosas, sausage rolls and the infamous Jamaican Patties along with a wide variety of other items including soups, wraps, salads, pastries and beverages!

Through the years, much has changed across the beautiful campus at UBC. Nizar Rajan, who along with his brothers purchased the Delly in 1976, shares that as much change as he has seen over the past 43 years, some fundamentals will never change. When asked why his family remains so passionate after so many years at The Delly, he simply states “that to operate a business where he and his family have had the opportunity to serve so many and evidence the happiness, satisfaction and loyalty of such a dynamic and wonderful clientele, motivates our family every day”.

Many faculty, staff and students continue to return to The Delly to visit the place that they often call their “home away from home on campus”. Clients share that they first visited The Delly as students only to return in another capacity years later and feel a rush of excitement and nostalgia as they pick up their favourite meal at The Delly. The Rajan family considers the trust, loyalty and appreciation that the University community has always shown The Delly to be a blessing, privilege and a responsibility.

The Rajan family is very excited today to be able to continue The Delly legacy in the beautiful Nest and to partner once again with the Alma Mater Society and UBC to continue to provide “The Delly Family” experience for present and future generations of the University community over the ensuing decades.

With a custom designed space focusing on the experience of our valued customers, the addition of an acclaimed Chef de Cuisine along with an all-star staff, The Delly promised to continue to provide customer favourites along with a host of new on trend offerings that will continue to make our treasured clientele relish their visits to “their home away from home”!

“good food provides nourishment for both the body and the soul”

Meet Chef Karen

“good food provides nourishment for both the body and the soul”

The Delly is so very excited to have the immensely talented Chef Karen Martin as part of The Delly family in the leadership role of Chef de Cuisine!

Chef Karen comes to The Delly after great success at both the Delta and Hyatt hotel chains. Prior to that, Chef Karen shared her talent and passion in various restaurants in Vancouver and her native Philippines.

Chef Karen’s own words perfectly express why she is such an amazing gift to the Delly and UBC:

“I have always believed that good food provides nourishment for both the body and the soul. It is the solemn duty of a chef to make the most of what the earth gives and transform it through craft into a masterful and uplifting dish.

I started my culinary career back home in the Philippines. I have worked in restaurant chains, hotels and was eventually invited to teach culinary arts at the institution where I graduated from. I was part of the opening team that introduced the famous West Vancouver French bistro “La Regalade” to Manila. The whim of destiny brought me back here in Vancouver, now my second home.

The Delly, has been an institution at UBC for more than forty years and lovingly recognized amongst its faithful and valued clientele as humble university comfort food. I deeply relate to its uncompromising dedication to food quality and freshness. I look forward to curating and creating wholesome and thoughTully priced offerings for all present and future patrons of The Delly.”

Each day, Chef Karen and the dedicated and talented team at The Delly strives to provide warm and cheerful service – food that nourishes the body and touches the soul to the entire campus. We look forward to welcoming all of our clientele to our family kitchen.

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