“We both had the exact same idea at the exact same time without even thinking about it.“
It really just comes down to the night of our date. My brother came home with burgers and fries. And he said, ‘I only want to eat these fries, but you can’t order just fries at this place. You have to order both.’ And McKenzie said, ‘Oh, so like FryGuys.’ And me and my brother were like, ‘Where is that?’ She goes, ‘It doesn’t exist.’ And I was like, ‘We need to start this company. We need to do it.’ And from that moment on, we knew it was going to be fries. I don’t know what it was, but it was something in both of our heads that was on the exact same path. We just knew it was going to be fried chicken, pulled pork, and brisket and guacamole and bacon. We both had the exact same idea at the exact same time without even thinking about it.” -Marco
McKenzie Foster and Marco Lanuto started FryGuys, a ridiculously fun and colorful french fry shop in the East Village, with an unintentional spark of chemistry between them on their first date. Both in their twenties, the two are changing the way New Yorkers experience local businesses from their 90’s-themed “Lisa Frank” wall featuring a large and outrageous rainbow mural of pink cats and bubble font to their “Wall of Fame” featuring iconic New Yorkers, original platinum records, and 8-tracks that evidently stop toddlers and grown ups on the street with absolute awe.
We miss it. We were born in the 90’s. And for us, the 90’s was such an incredible time. Like the ‘96 Yankees were my childhood. I loved Derek Jeter. I had a poster on my wall. I used to go to all the games. We wanted to just remind people of happiness and we chose to use french fries as a vehicle in which to do that.” -McKenzie
The two are fearless and hailing the neighborhood with an appreciation for the past. McKenzie began selling real estate at the age of 15 after formerly training professionally for the Olympics as a gymnast. Marco was heavily influenced by his entrepreneurial family that exposed him at an early age to business deals throughout New Jersey and Manhattan. He later started his own ride-sharing app before he turned his focus to FryGuys full-time. One might just believe that the couple is quite possibly the face of this generation’s twenty-something entrepreneur.
The company made its recent debut on social media for National French Fry Day, in which influencers like @ehgg and @adventuresofape posted highly-raved pictures of their french fry combinations, ranging from chicken and waffles to cheesy, bacon-infused flavors with generous scoops of guacamole. Marco and McKenzie explain that their social media presence is a great centerpiece for the business. The positive feedback and support they receive are ways for them to continuously innovate and feel motivated to give back to their community.
As the two sit across from each other under the glittery disco balls of their dynamic shop, Marco gazes over at McKenzie and remarks,
We didn’t want to do something different from everyone else, so to speak. We just wanted to do what we wanted to do, like guacamole on our french fries, and we were hoping that everyone else would like it as well. No one is FryGuys. No one is this [pointing between him and McKenzie] and no one can recreate this, because FryGuys is original to me and McKenzie.” -Marco
FryGuys is located at 150 E 2nd St, New York, NY 10009.