Being a college student is a full-time job. Owning a small business is also hard work, yet some Ohio University attendees do both. Enter: Myles Cutler.
Cutler is currently a fifth-year student at OU. On Jan. 31, 2020, Cutler opened a quick, casual, one-stop-shop for all things french fries. The business is fittingly named FRY'D.
FRY'D has plans to celebrate its first anniversary, with specials running every day that week. Mark your calendars for its latest product launch, because this Thursday, Feb. 4, pickle fries will join the FRY'D menu.
The Post sat down with Cutler to talk about the inspiration behind FRY'D and what it's like running a small business.
The Post: How would you describe FRY'D to others?
Cutler: There are two parts to FRY'D: food and experience. As for food, we have six different types of fries. There are sweet potato fries, funnel cake fries, chicken fries, hand-cut fries and tater tots. Then, we are adding pickle fries to our menu this Thursday. Guests can choose from 15 different types of sauces and a variety of seasonings. We also have toppings like buffalo chicken dip, chili, pulled pork and mac and cheese. Anything you can imagine putting on fries, we’ve probably got. The concept behind the experience at FRY'D is very customer-centric and inviting. When customers walk in, they are greeted with a ’70s theme and good vibes. We want everybody who comes in to have a good time. To sum it up, it's good vibes and great fries.
The Post: What was the inspiration behind FRY'D? It's a unique concept, so what's the story of how it started?
Cutler: I was in Europe with my family visiting Amsterdam. We saw french fry shops on almost every corner, and each one had a line out the door, but I didn't think much of it at the time. Then, one night in my junior year, I was hanging out with my friends and asked all of them, "What if I open up a french fry shop?" I thought I'd call it FRY'D, and it'd be a very good vibes type of thing, very “hippies,” very 70s. They absolutely loved it. So, I snuck out of the room, went downstairs and called my dad. He told me how I came up with many business ideas, some good and some not so great. Then, my dad pointed out one thing that's been common among them all. I will always remember what he said word-for-word and excuse my language, but he said, "You've never done it, so f------ do it." That's what did it for me. I started my search and wasn't able to find the ideal location. So, I continued to work on my concept, and I sat on it for a year. Then, when the perfect place opened up, I didn't hesitate.
The Post: The FRY'D grand opening was in January of 2020, so what was it like starting a business during COVID-19?
Cutler: We're still doing well. Obviously, COVID-19 is something that's not easy for any business. I think it's our responsibility as consumers to support local business owners. It's important we help local businesses get through these hard times. We've not been affected by it in the way that some other people have and feel very fortunate.
The Post: What are your goals for FRY'D in 2021?
Cutler: Our goal is to expand to a second location. We want to go to either the Ohio State University or the University of Cincinnati. That is just for right now, obviously. After that, there could be further plans to come. I've always said that you can't think about number two until you have number one, right? Currently, I'm not going to think about number three, but we're ready for step number two, which is expanding.
The Post: What has been the most significant challenge running a small business?
Cutler: I'm not going to sit here and say there's been no challenges ... many I didn't expect. The hardest part is wearing 100 different kinds of hats. That's the most challenging part because you have to wear every single hat as a small business owner. I could be talking to my real estate developer about a potential location, then the next minute, I am plunging a toilet. You can't sit there and complain. You also can't make anybody do something that you're not willing to do yourself. But you can overwork yourself. It's having this balance, which is the hardest thing for me to figure out.
The Post: What are your plans for after graduation?
Cutler: I'm very committed to FRY'D. I will be focusing on expanding my brand and expanding the company, one step at a time.
Satisfy your late night cravings at 5 N. Court St. or check out FRY’D’s Instagram at @frydfries_.