The Turkey House Ltd
By YP Contributor

Turkey Family Traditions

When Rita Johnson speaks about her longstanding family restaurant and deli, she does so with pride and passion. “Basically, this place is an extension of our home. Many of our customers are our friends and at this stage we’re now serving four generations of customers,” says Rita.

The Turkey House & Deli was conceived back in 1976 after Rita’s mother, Erika Siperko, was told by her doctors to eliminate all red meat and reduce the fat and cholesterol intake in her diet due to a diagnosed heart condition. As someone who was raised on elaborately flavoured European meats and shared those tastes at her gourmet deli and restaurant in Surrey, B.C., Erika was quite distressed over the idea of giving all that up. So with help from her family, she set out to recreate the favourite cold cuts, sausages and fresh meats of her European childhood with a healthy alternative.

“When Mom started, it was revolutionary,” says Rita. “People were only eating turkey at Christmas. Now people are becoming more educated and wanting to eat healthier. That’s quite an accomplishment.”

Though Erika has retired, she pops in once a week to visit and enjoy a home-style turkey schnitzel as she watches Rita, along with son Klaus and daughter-in-law Bonnie, continue on the tradition she started.

“I think we have it easier than Mom did,” says Rita.

This place is an extension of our home. Many of our customers are our friends and at this stage we’re now serving four generations of customers. - Rita Johnson, owner
Turkey sausage, cold cuts, take-home dinners, hor d’oeuvres, turkey jerky, pepperoni, turkey pastries, Chinese tidbits, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Turkey Time All the Time

After experimenting with hundreds of recipes, The Turkey House & Deli now boasts more than 12 different varieties of turkey sausage, including gluten-free options, turkey jerky, pepperoni and Chinese tidbits. There are over 25 different flavours of cold cuts including their signature turkey ham, and nearly 30 different cooked items including full take-home dinners.

“We don’t use MSG, only natural preservatives," says Rita, adding that Bonnie and Klaus continuously add to the line of fresh products in order to give customers something new to look forward to. Once made, all items typically have a three-day shelf life. “Klaus and Bonnie are here every day at 2 a.m. It’s an everyday process to offer homemade foods.”

Turkey sausage, cold cuts, take-home dinners, hor d’oeuvres, turkey jerky, pepperoni, turkey pastries, Chinese tidbits, breakfast, lunch, dinner

Customer Appreciation and Community Involvement

Running a restaurant business is hard work when you consider the changing food trends and the fickle customers. That’s why the owners of The Turkey House & Deli never forget to be grateful for the support they’ve received. “In order to keep your customers, you have to be thankful they are there by keeping your quality and cleanliness high,” says Klaus, who likes to note that Fraser Health Authority regularly uses the restaurant’s A1-rated facility as a best practice example.

Besides keeping a top-notch facility, The Turkey House & Deli demonstrates its sincere gratitude in a number of ways. The restaurant donates turkey delights to annual community events, such as White Rock Firefighters’ Breakfast with Santa and Camp Alexander’s Christmas Dinner. The Turkey House & Deli also hosts the annual Earl Marriott Dry Grad Breakfast, a tradition that began when Klaus and Bonnie’s children graduated in the late ’90s. That explains why the restaurant’s walls are adorned with graduating class photos from Earl Marriott Secondary School.

“We’re happy that people still come here, but we work very hard to keep their loyalty as well,” says Klaus.

Turkey sausage, cold cuts, take-home dinners, hor d’oeuvres, turkey jerky, pepperoni, turkey pastries, Chinese tidbits, breakfast, lunch, dinner
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