Q+A: Fuel Fever
What experiences can a local restaurant offer? Fuel Fever Grill and Juice Bar is a wonderful example, pairing healthy and tasty food with meaningful, long lasting relationships with its customers. We sat down with Ramy and Suzie, owners and founders of Fuel Fever to talk about smoothies, local businesses, and why they love having their restaurant in DUMBO!
Can you guys give us the backstory of Fuel Fever? How was it originally started?
Suzie: My husband Ramy was not happy with the job that he he had been working at for ten years. He didn't feel that it fulfilled him, and he wanted to do something that made him feel like he wanted to go to work every day and be happy.
Ramy likes going to the gym. He's a healthy person with a healthy lifestyle. So, he decided to open a juice bar, even though he didn't have any restaurant experience at all. It was a hard time as we just found out that I was pregnant. But we did it! He worked day and night, seven days a week, all day, every day. And here we are, fifteen years later!
We're not just here because we want to sell you something. We're here because we really are people of the community.
Why should people choose Fuel Fever over other grills or other juice bars?
I think people would choose Fuel Fever for our eagerness to have a connection with our customers. We're not just here because we want to sell you something. We're here because we really are people of the community. So, if someone were to walk into one of our locations, they would be like, "Hey, Ramy, how are you? How're the kids?" And they'd have a conversation. We have customers who text me on their phones. They'll make sure that if it's busy, the order will go through. It's really more about friendship and connection. That's how we look at our customers, because we love it when we go into a restaurant or a store, and we know the people behind the counter, and we know the owner. "Hey, how are you?" And we catch up! It just makes the experience feel real. We believe in supporting other local businesses, just like we want people to support our local business. So of course, we eat out in our neighborhood as well, because that sense of "we're not just here to sell you something", but we're here to have a conversation. The fulfilling part of having a restaurant is making those long-lasting connections and friendships.
We believe in supporting other local businesses, just like we want people to support our local business.
What goes through your mind when deciding on a new item for your menu?
What's good about our menu is that we have interesting smoothies and interesting juices, and we're all about customization. We have create-your-own acai bowls, create-your-own smoothies, and create-your-own juice. Whatever it is that you want, we'll do it for you. In our minds, the customers take their hard earned money to get what they want, so we'll make whatever kind of concoction they want. You'd be surprised by some of the combos that people make!
What brought you to Dumbo?
Suzie: It's always been my husband's dream to open up in Dumbo – we absolutely love Dumbo! On the weekends, we always go with the kids to Brooklyn Bride Park, just to walk around. We like to be in the area, such a beautiful location! The people there are from all walks of life; it's very diverse. We also like the fact that there's so many little stores right next to each other. It's so nice to have small businesses around, being small business owners ourselves. We love going to small businesses because you get that personal connection. It's a good example to show our children that you can have a small business, you can do anything that you want, and people will appreciate it.
We love going to small businesses because you get that personal connection.
Do you have a favorite smoothie that you would recommend?
Ramy: Definitely the Green Machine. It’s made with mango, banana, fresh kale and fresh spinach. You don’t even taste the kale or the spinach, but you still get all the vitamins.
Suzie: I would say my favorite has to be the Tropical Creme Brûlée. It’s a new one that we just made. It has pineapple, mango, banana, a little bit of brown sugar, and whatever milk you’d like. I prefer almond milk, but it’s up to you.
I know you love Dumbo! Do you have a favorite spot in particular?
Ramy: Fuel Fever!
Suzie: I really enjoy looking out at the river and watching all the boats pass by. I feel like it’s a good place for people who want to go somewhere out of town, or out of Brooklyn. I feel like you can just stand there and look around. You can see Manhattan, and you can see the bridge. And it's a good example of Brooklyn and its possibilities.