Ahmad Alatrash is the co-founder of Mesquite Fresh Street Mex, a fast-casual favorite serving up Mexican fare in Phoenix and beyond. “It started as a taco stand in Old Town Scottsdale that only served tacos and now has grown to a chain of nine restaurants with a bigger menu.” Learn more about Ahmad Alatrash…
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
First job: My first official job was at Little Caesars. I was 16 and worked there for two years. I got to interact with customers, learn customer service and see how commercial kitchens functioned.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in AZ: I like spending my time outdoors, hiking or playing tennis. I also love to spend my weekends networking, trying out new restaurants and spending time with family.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: Opening our location in Val Vista was my biggest accomplishment. I led the whole project from the ground up and it was our first Mesquite location to have a drive-up concept.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: Building an initial team was a challenge. A team is the foundation of a company and ensuring we had it right took some time.
Someone who inspires you and why: My dad. Growing up, I saw him work hard to care for our big family and always ensured we got everything we needed. He paved the way for us to succeed.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Never give up, be consistent and remember that things take time—patience is imperative to achieving success.
Favorite quote: “80 percent of success is showing up.”—Woody Allen
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: Between my brother and I, I tend to be the face of the brand. But not many people know I am introverted. A lot of my job is networking, interviewing, giving speeches to staff and interacting with many people daily, and throughout my career, I have had to break out of my bubble.
What makes someone fabulous: You can be fabulous if you believe in yourself.