With a background in education Scott Nelowet never thought he’d be in the business of selling fries—that is, until a trip to Europe steered his career on an entirely different path. He surprised his parents with a trip to Europe as an anniversary gift and while there he noticed the different ways the people snacked.

“While over there we thought, ‘Let’s bring something back to the states.’… We ran across these little cones of french fries and people were eating them with mayonnaise, curry ketchup and vinegar. We thought it was a neat idea,” he says.

Upon his return, a friend offered Nelowet a spot in a food festival in Florida after he explained the idea to him. As his snack fries were becoming successful he continued tweaking ingredients and his menu, eventually opening a number of kiosks. “The idea of the kiosk was going really well but we reached a point where, as a snack brand, it was doing well in malls. Shopping malls aren’t what they once were as expenses were getting higher,” he says.

Nelowet says he then had to go back to the drawing board to keep the concept alive. After experiencing Poutine (a Canadian entree consisting of brown gravy and cheese curds served over fries), Nelowet thought of putting “top-quality full meals” on top of fresh, all-natural fries. Running his thoughts past friend and former CEO of Jimmy John’s Greg Majewski, the suggestion was made (by Majewski) to open the French Fry Heaven Restaurant in Cincinnati.

According to Nelowet, Majewski said, “There’s no better restaurant market in the country. If you want to make a statement with new food, there’s no better place than Cincinnati.” Located in Clifton, the restaurant caters to the students in the area by offering an app, delivery and new “Sky-Fi” technology to surf the internet.

When asked what should guests expect when they visit, he says, “The biggest thing is getting people to try something new. It’s not like a pizza place where they know what it is. This is a totally new genre of food.”

“Once they try it, they love it,” he adds.

When placing an order guests will get a hearty portion of food on top of fresh loaded spuds. Some of the options include pulled pork, smoked in house with jalapeños and cheese sauce; a variety a sauces, spices and salts allowing guests to create one of 820 flavor combinations; and vegan options.

For those wanting to stray away from fried foods the restaurant offers the option of serving meals over baked spuds.

Although more locations are set to open, Cincinnati is considered by Nelowet to be home based. He says, “We want people to feel like this is their store. Cincinnati matters.”

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