Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Fouad Belgaied. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Fouad, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today What sort of legacy are you hoping to build. What do you think people will say about you after you are gone, what do you hope to be remembered for?
Since I closed my meal prep company in early 2020, not due to covid but more so of the opportunity to take over my family businesses. My legacy is now all I think of since the opportunity I’ve been waiting for has arrived. My legacy is to take what my father and mother built with 2 restaurants, serving the Phoenix area for 25+years, and to expand bring a new touch while keep the same Authentic flavor and food we are known for,
Fouad, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
My name is Fouad Belgaied and I’m 33 years old. I started in my “business” when I was a young kid washing dishes after school. I recently had my other company HummusKing Meals, which was the First Mediterranean Meal Prep company of its kind. I Enjoyed that journey for 3 years. In 2020 the opportunity arouse in which my father asked me if I wanted to take over the family restaurants. This was ALWAYS a dream of mine. My passion is in the kitchen creating plates, making plates and watching customers leave with a smile. Phoenicia Cafe has been proudly serving the Phoenix valley for over 25 Years. We provide the Best in Authentic Mediterranean, making our food fresh from scratch in house. In keeping the family tradition and recipes and taking pride in our food and how its made, we have become a staple in the Phoenix Valley for feeding Arizona with nothing but the BEST in Authentic Mediterranean. I personally have become EXTRELMEY proud with the growth of the restaurants and how we’ve been able to be consistent in being the best. Customers come in and now every time no matter how busy we are they will get the best possible mad with the love that they know. Consistency has been a MAJOR key in making sure when customers order from Phoenicia, they know what they are getting,
Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?
When it comes to resilience, the perfect story comes to mind. 2020 when the pandemic hit, a lot of business were effected. Fortunately for us and our location in Gilbert and the demographic not much changed besides everything shifting to to go order in March of that year. Yes there was a scare earlier in the month and then business resumed with more to go orders I’ve ever imagined. With the restaurant being completely empty we wondered how this would effect us. In doing so I had to make sure every single to go order was not only made properly but made as if they were eating in house with us. Meaning garnishing, plating, and everything else had to be ON POINT. After a month or so we started to see an increase in business. I knew we were doing it right. A lot more first time customers started to call in, and we knew this was a moment most business were only wishing to have during that time. As we got busier in April and into summer we became short staffed in the kitchen. So what does that mean? That means Non stop 11 hour days and on top of the orders, making sure EVERY SINGLE plate was made as it should be! We could not miss this opportunity just because we were short staffed. I saw it as opportunity to see what we were really about and in living up to our name, Diamonds are created under pressure and in that summer we launched ourselves into another level of business. Being short staffed no long mattered, what mattered was BY ANY MEANS NECCESARY, making sure our now busier than ever restaurant still produced the same, if not better quality of food as if I had 4 cooks in the kitchen. With only 2 of us (myself included) we made it happen. I look back at that year as a moment Ill never forget and in take pride in how we handled the increase in business with half of my kitchen staff! That to me is the definition of resilience.
We’d love to hear the story of how you turned a side-hustle into a something much bigger.
My side hustle which the last article was about, HummusKing Meals helped me get into my career today. HkMeals was simply a branch off of the restaurant Phoenicia Cafe, in which I portioned out the best in Mediterranean cuisine and helped people achieve their Healthy lifestyle. It allowed me to see a different demographic of customers and how I could attend to them in their needs. With being in over 6 La Fitness Locations, Nutrition Stores and even providing Arizona States Wrestling Team with fully customized meals for their entire team throughout their entire season! ( In which they won the Pac 12 championship ) After 3 years of going off on my own, my father was able to see the passion I had for the food and what it took to run and operate a “successful” start up business. This is where it led to in 2020 when I was offered to come in and really take on my dream with the restaurant in which I can fully express myself in the kitchen and experience the restaurant atmosphere and operations in which I couldn’t do with my Meal Prep Company.
- Website: phoeniciacafe.com
- Instagram: @fouadbelgaied @phoenicia_grill
- Facebook: Phoenicia Grill
- Yelp: Phoenicia Grill