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Tucanos ‘meats’ University Place with tradition of community and celebration

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In May, Tucanos Brazilian Grill opened a new location at University Place in Orem. (Photo courtesy of Tucanos)

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Tucanos may have moved to University Place on May 15 — but the myriad of flavors and festive traditions will continue at its new location.

In 2000, Tucanos opened its first location in Provo, Utah, bringing the taste of Rio de Janeiro to Utah County for the first time. Since opening the first store, Founder Steve Oldham and Co-Founder Joseph Heeb have opened nine more locations around the United States, including a second Utah location in Salt Lake City. While Tucanos has spread Brazilian flair and mealtime festivities across the United States, they have continued to maintain a sense of community.

“We have loved every moment since we first opened in Utah County over 17 years ago, and we are thrilled to treat our guests to an even better experience with our move to University Place,” said Steve Oldham, founder and president. “In order to further embrace the community we have come to know and love, we felt that it was important to continue our tradition of giving back with our grand opening celebration.”

The new University Place location opened with a special celebration in recognition of Kids on the Move, a Utah-based charity focused on helping children with special needs. All profits from the night’s events were donated to Kids on the Move.

Throughout the past 17 years, Tucanos has ingrained itself into the Utah County community by providing nearly a half million dollars in food, services, and funds to a variety of causes and organizations. Outside of its charitable activities, Tucanos caters to local businesses, provides meals for the BYU football press box and for events at UVU, and offers a space for families to celebrate their special and everyday occasions.

“We have loved every moment since we first opened in Utah County over 17 years ago, and we are thrilled to treat our guests to an even better experience with our move to University Place,” — Steve Oldham, founder and president

Tucanos’ founders have strong ties to Utah. Oldham attended and graduated from Brigham Young University’s nationally renowned School of Accountancy,  and met his wife, a Utah native, during his time there. Both Oldham and Heeb have children that attend or have attended Brigham Young University or Utah Valley University, and spend much of their free time in the community.

Oldham founded Tucanos after falling in love with the Brazilian culture while serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Curitiba, Brazil. Once Oldham received his accounting degree at Brigham Young University, he returned with his family to live in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He caught the restaurant fever while working for PepsiCo Restaurants International, which once owned restaurants in Brazil. When his family returned to the United States, he used what he learned in Brazil to meld together two cultures that he loved.  With the support of former business associates, and a new partner, the first Tucanos was opened in Provo.

Besides the skewers of meat and festive salad bar, Tucanos is known for its mouthwatering grilled pineapple. (Photo courtesy of Tucanos)

The restaurant was established on a set of Governing Principles, which remain at the core of Tucanos training and business practices.  Integrity, respect, stewardship, teachability, and joy through serving others are a few of the principles that the Company credits for its success.  The churrascaria firmly believes that having a principle driven company unifies their team and creates a solid foundation for training, service and decision making at all levels of the business.

Over the years, Tucanos has provided jobs to over 3,000 Utah County residents and served over 3.5 million meals. Tucanos has forged a tradition of delivering an exceptional dining experience in a family-friendly environment at an affordable price.

That Brazilian tradition continues at the new University Place location with Tucanos’ parade of freshly grilled skewers of meat, the award-winning Salad Festival and the friendly, personal service that people have come to expect from Tucanos.

In addition to an expanded dining room, the new location offers additional parking, both covered and street level, to guests. The interior incorporates the fun and flair of the beaches of Rio de Janeiro with artwork painted by Luiz Delionn. Delionn, a Brazilian street painter, known for fusing old and new techniques with innovative and abstract elements, has provided the artwork for all recent Tucanos locations.  The new Tucanos includes a glass tower with a unique treatment featuring designs inspired by Delionn’s colorful portrayals of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  

The Orem Tucanos is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, the restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. It is closed on Sunday. 

To make a reservation to attend call (801) 224-4774, for more information and to get updates about Tucanos Brazilian Grill visit tucanos.com.

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