Feras Bashnak is a serial entrepreneur who knows first-hand the high cost of opening a business. Want to launch a brick-and-mortar restaurant? Half a million. How about a food truck? $100,000. Either way, you’re sinking a lot of cash into a huge commitment that you have yet to prototype – risks few young entrepreneurs are willing to take. In this week’s episode of Before IT Happened, Feras talks about the “aha” moment that led him to founding Ferla Bikes, an e-bike-powered food and retail bicycle and push cart manufacturing company. Listen now to hear more about Feras’s journey.
Before any world-changing innovation, there was a moment, an event, a realization that sparked the ideabeforeit happened. This is a podcast about that moment — about that idea. Before IT Happened takes you on a journey with the innovators who imagined — and are still imagining — our future. Join host Donna Loughlin as her guests tell their stories of how they brought their visions to life.
JUMP STRAIGHT INTO:
(02:51) - Growing up in an immigrant household - “My dad used to tell me, ‘You can’t expect to get what you want, you have to build it.’ And I think it just came to me naturally, seeing him building his life and our family from the ground up with zero connections.”
(13:09) - A passion for entrepreneurship - “I knew I’d have to build my own dream, and during staying in the United States that would lead me to seeing so much potential you have here. Everything is possible.”
(15:09) - Building buy-in for Ferla Bikes - “When it comes to our idea, it was crazy in a way to start something like this. People didn't believe in us at the beginning. They we like, ‘What is this? I should buy a food truck, or I should buy a concession trailer? Like how do I pedal this?’ And it was really hard to prove the concept.”
(21:55) - Responding to customer feedback - “Our customers became our engineers. We always listened to them and we always produced and developed what they're looking for.”
(28:30) - New opportunities during the pandemic - “Fortunately, we helped many businesses to save their name. They shut down the restaurant, but they had always an opportunity to come to us and just do a slightly different way of serving their product.”
(30:14) - Building a more inclusive, conscious, and greener society - “I believe we have power and responsibility to make society more inclusive for everyone. And what I mean by that, our main mission for the cargo bikes, it's helped different able communities dramatically.”
Learn more about Ferla Bikes
Read Chicago Tribune’sSweet Mary’s offers ice cream on the go from a bicycle
Before IT Happened is produced byDonna Loughlin andStudioPod Media with additional editing and sound design bynodalab. All episodes are written and developed by Susanna Camp. The Show Coordinator is Nicole Genova and the Executive Producer is Katie Sunku Wood.