cbuzz Episode 35: Zach Weprin, FUSIAN

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Bringing you the best stories from Columbus business owners, cbuzz is presented by the Columbus Chamber in collaboration with the Columbus Dispatch and CD1025. Our host Dan Swartwout talks with entrepreneurs every other week in Columbus’ first business-focused podcast.

A little over six years ago, Zach Weprin, alongside brother Josh Weprin and childhood friend Stephan Harmon, decided to change the sushi culture in Ohio. With zero restaurant experience and a finance degree from The Ohio State University, Weprin focused on a niche of the food industry that has seen immense growth in recent years: the fast casual restaurant segment.

With that model in mind, Weprin and his co-founders developed the idea for FUSIAN, an innovative sushi joint where the customer’s experience matters just as much as the food on the menu.

img_5587-1“We opened our first restaurant and that was more or less our test kitchen,” said Weprin. “We learned how to run the business by being in operation and actually doing business.”

Today, there are 10 FUSIAN locations across Ohio: four in Columbus, four in Cincinnati and two in Dayton. The brand shows little signs of slowing down any time soon with new locations pending in other parts of Ohio and a new FUSIAN location set to open in Toledo this year.

While there has been no shortage of success for FUSIAN, the concept took awhile to take off among the general public. Its fanfare now is undeniable as Weprin watches the number of customers continue to grow.

“We had this vision of this brand and this experience we wanted to create,” said Weprin. “Slowly and organically that pendulum has changed where people see it now and they understand what we are doing.”

Along with wanting to sell great sushi, the FUSIAN founders want to be able to educate the market and distill the concept that sushi must be an intricate and expensive cuisine.

Part of generating the development of FUSIAN as a brand is its dedication to community as seen in its ‘Sushi in Schools’ experience, which is an active way to encourage young adults to learn more about sushi. The program is currently offered in 45 different high school cafeterias.

With new locations around the corner, FUSIAN’s focus will remain on its values, culture and involvement in the community. Its four Columbus locations are located in Grandview, Clintonville, Easton and The Ohio State University. For more information, visit FUSIAN’s website.

Looking for tips and tricks to start your own business? Visit the Chamber website and sign up for one of our Leadership for Small Business events here.


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FUSIAN COLLABORATION
In coordination with FUSIAN’s goal to stay connected in local communities, they have recently collaborated with Alchemy Juice Bar + Café and Local Matters to support healthy Columbus communities. Through February 28 at all four Columbus locations, sushi lovers can indulge in the new Alchemy Superfood Roll with $1 of all proceeds supporting Local Matters and their healthful food education program at Moler Elementary. More information available here.

Published on:
January 9, 2017


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