Emad (Sam) & Yasser Ahmed
I came to New York in 1995.

I’m often asked what makes my falafels unique, and I tell them it’s my experience. I have 40 years of experience in falafel making. Now I’m passing that knowledge on to my younger brother, who works with me in the cart.

I began making different falafel, but there is a variety of falafels depending on the country. So I called my friends in Egypt and Syria and asked what they recommended. I took their advice and made my own with some secret spices and a special sauce.

After 9/11, I stored my car for a year and a half. Then in 2003, I started again, but I paid the price because on the first day back I had almost all my customers come back! Some customers from more than 20 years ago are still coming to my car now.

It doesn’t matter if it’s bad weather or good weather, the support from the community has been outstanding.

My brother and I make everything from scratch, the falafel, the hummus, the baba ganoush, and the sauce; I buy nothing ready. We wake up at 5 in the morning to make everything homemade.

We had a restaurant, but we sold it in 2008. We didn’t have time to manage a restaurant, and having the cart was easier. People sometimes think I don’t have to pay much because it’s a cart, but I have to pay for the garage and other expenses.

Sam’s Falafel has sustained my family and my kids. They had the chance to go to university, and now I have two of them studying engineering, and my daughter got her master’s in public health. I have worked hard cooking and managing this business so they all have the chance of a brighter future.

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