By STAFF | SouthFloridaFoodAndWine.com
This week’s Spotlight Interview shines on the hardworking husband and wife team behind the Ms. Cheezious food trucks, MC1 and MC2, [as they are aptly named]. Brian and Fatima Mullins are the fun-loving yet serious, hands-on business owners behind Ms. Cheezious. On any given day you’ll find Brian and Fatima prepping for their long days on the road as well as working on the trucks seeing to it that each sandwich, side, and soup is served fresh and up to the quality standards that has earned them a top fan favorite ranking in South Florida. Ms. Cheezious offers classic style sandwiches as well as the option to build your own; for those with a taste for something extra-ordinary The Mullins’ have created specialty grilled cheeses which include the popular goat cheese and proscuitto, spiced apples with havarti, blue cheese and bacon and my favorite harvati and bacon on marbled rye. Ms. Cheezious is all about the grilled cheese, doing one thing and doing it well. To accompany the sandwiches home-made soups and chili are on the menu as well as weekly off-the-menu specials to showcase new items and creative combinations for the grilled cheeses. I present this week’s Entrepreneurs in the Spotlight, Brian and Fatima Mullins co-owners of Ms. Cheezious.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is a typical day like for you as the owner of two food trucks?
Brian Mullins: Long and longer. Up by 7am to gather all the food and beverage item needed for the days service. Confirm that the staff is on time and knows where they are headed for the day. Stop to fill propane & deisel for the days service. Lunch service. Regroup, restock and prepare for dinner service. Travel to dinner location. Dinner service. Clean the entire truck upon completion of the days service. Outline anything that needs to be done for the following day. Cashouts, banking, reply to all emails. Follow up with catering contracts….Midnight’ish sleep. Repeat
Fatima Mullins: Brian’s answer “long and longer” made me laugh..but it’ so true! I start off my day on the computer and end it the same way. I handle the social media for our trucks and I need to be able to quickly report any changes in times and locations for each truck and respond to our followers in a timely fashion on our social media sites. I also spend the day responding to requests for events and scouting new locations for our trucks. With the addition of our second truck the workload has naturally doubled. We are blessed to have found a great team of people to work on our trucks…most of them have been with us since day one but I still cover shifts where needed. I also assist in prepping for the next day’s specials. At some point in the evening Brian and I find time to have dinner together, walk the dog then I’m back to the computer to finish up all the admin duties.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the one thing you love the most about your job?
Brian Mullins: The people, each day we are have a unique oppurtunity to interact with new people where ever we travel to. We can meet new people and prepare fresh fantastic food for them and make their day and our day that much better.
Fatima Mullins: Having the opprotunity to meet new people everyday is definitely my favorite part. Since we’ve opened Ms. Cheezious I have met so many amazing people who have actually become great friends.
South Florida Food and Wine: Who is the one person you most would like to share a grilled cheese with? And why?
Brian Mullins: My grandmother…she is no longer with us but she would have loved Ms. Cheezious. She always made me the best grilled cheese growing up.
Fatima Mullins: Awww…that’s so sweet. I would have loved to meet her. I chose Ricky Gervais because he makes me laugh..even his laugh makes me laugh!
South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your last day on earth, what would your final meal be?
Brian Mullins: Chicken Wings, mine. My sauce, my way, all day! I have a problem. Admitting it is the first step to recovery they say.
Fatima Mullins: This is a hard question because I love to eat so many things and I could actually go for some of Brian’s chicken wings right now J But I have to go with my mother’s paella. I have been devouring her paellas since I can remember and nothing is more delicious and makes me feel like home more than that.
South Florida Food and Wine: What was the last food truck you ate at other than Ms. Cheezious?
Brian Mullins: Random taco truck in mexico
Fatima Mullins: Haahaaaa! Let me elaborate…we were actually in Mexico recently and we ate at a taco truck every night…it had no name one it… and it was delicious! I think that’s what kept us alive during that trip..the late night tacos!
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the most challenging thing about being an entrepreneur?
Brian Mullins: We are in some very challenging economic times right now. There is not a lot of room for error. The enviorment for small business is tough, you can not let your guard down.
Fatima Mullins: My answer is pretty simple…not enough hours in the day.
South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your day off, what do you do for fun?
Brian Mullins: Can you define “day off” ? Spend time with the family and friends, BBQ and try to relax
Fatima Mullins: Its almost impossible for us to get a day off but when we do we love to entertain. Nothing is better than sharing good times, good food and good drink (very important) with our friends and family.
South Florida Food and Wine: The food truck business is not an easy business, what motivates you to be bigger, better, stronger?
Brian Mullins: You need to constantly move forward. At the end of the day this is a business, businesses that do not constantly strive for that do not remain in business for long.
Fatima Mullins: This is our business, our livelihood. Brian and I are very motivated people to begin with and we believe in what we are doing. As a business owner, if you are not motivated to be succesful then you are probably in the wrong business.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the one piece of advice you would offer entrepreneurs starting out today?
Brian Mullins: Do your homework, know what you are getting yourself into. Once your in things move quick and it is real easy to get into trouble. There are a lot of great ideas out there in the business world, it comes down to how those ideas are brought to market.
Fatima Mullins: Build a business around your passion, talents and strengths.
To find out where Ms. Cheezious will be follow her on Facebook and Twitter
Ms. Cheezious on Facebook
Ms. Cheezious on Twitter
Love the South Florida food scene? Check out our newly published book (Globe Pequot Press, $14.95), Food Lovers’ Guide to Miami & Fort Lauderdale