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Ice cream, waffles and more on the menu of shop opening in downtown Rochester

Suzanne Youssef and her family are gearing up to open Fuzzy's Italian Ice and Ice Cream at 318 First Ave. SW in the 318 Commons building. That’s the former Potbelly's Sandwich Shop space.

Fuzzy's Italian Ice & Ice Cream
The former Potbelly's Sandwich Shop space in downtown Rochester on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023. A sign for Fuzzy's Italian Ice & Ice Cream hung in the window at the space.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin
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ROCHESTER — Here’s the scoop: A new family-owned shop offering waffles and pancakes plus ice cream and other treats will soon be added to mix in downtown Rochester.

Suzanne Youssef and her family are gearing up to open Fuzzy's Italian Ice and Ice Cream at 318 First Ave. SW in the 318 Commons building. That’s where Potbelly's Sandwich Shop operated until it closed in September 2022 .

“It has always been my mother’s dream to open up a shop with ice cream and Egyptian desserts here. We’ve been looking around for a year or two and then it was a miracle that we found this spot. We just rolled with it,” said Samer Bedir, one of Youssef’s children.

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Rochester Realtor Bern O'Brien handled the deal that locked down the empty former Potbelly’s space for Fuzzy’s.

After some updates to the site and installing some new equipment, they hope to be able to open the doors by mid- to late February.

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While they are still working out some details of the menu, the basic plan is to offer Italian ices, soft-serve ice cream and scoop ice cream. They also plan to serve up bubble waffles and pancakes all day starting early for the breakfast crowd.

In a nod to their family’s background, Fuzzy’s will also have the sweet pastry baklava on the menu. While baklava is often associated with Greek culture, its origins in the Ottoman Empire means many counties claim it as their own. Bedir describes baklava as an Egyptian pastry.

Selling treats in downtown Rochester is not new for Youssef, Bedir and their family. Fuzzy’s did make some appearances selling Italian ices and cotton candy at the weekly Thursdays Downtown events last summer as well as The Night Market.

Fuzzy's Italian Ice & Ice Cream
A sign for Fuzzy's Italian Ice & Ice Cream hangs in the window at the former Potbelly Sandwich Shop space in downtown Rochester on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin
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Jeff Kiger writes a daily column, "Heard Around Rochester," in addition to writing articles about local businesses, Mayo Clinic, IBM, Hormel Foods, Crenlo and others. The opinions of my employer do not necessarily reflect my opinions. He has worked in Rochester for the Post Bulletin since 1999. Send tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or via Twitter to @whereskiger . You can call him at 507-285-7798.
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