Reader’s Digest’s “Nicest Place in America” is no exaggeration. The high-spirited owner of Yassin’s Falafel House, Yassin Terou, outpours love and support to the Knoxville community because he is so grateful for receiving the same. Since 2014, this practice has proven successful and earned him the 2019 Knoxville Chamber of Commerce Award Minority-Owned Business Excellence Pinnacle Award.
Welcome all sizes, all colors, all ages, all sexes, all cultures, all religions, all types, all beliefs. All people are safe here at Yassin’s Falafel House.
Describe what you’re really thankful for?
Actually, a lot of things. One of them: freedom. Being free and being able to do what you want. Also, the safety and the love you get from the community. I’m very thankful to be here. I like to practice what I want and to build the future for me and my family.
Please explain your motto about all people being safe in your restaurant.
I, Yassin, and Yassin’s Falafel House, are an open heart and an open door. We are open for the people and we want to build. We want to work with people and want to give them love and respect. We always open our hearts and doors to everyone.
Tell me about the speech that you gave at the Pinnacle Awards.
It’s the Knoxville community who is my family. Yes, I was born and raised in Syria, but I never got there what I have here: love and support. It was a very big deal for that to come from my own city. That speech came from my heart. Everyone should support one another because, as I told you, we never want to divide. We never want to be part of the problem. You want to be part of the solution.
Have you faced any unexpected challenges?
You always face unexpected challenges. We try to face it with love. Outside the door is not always shining. There’s sometimes rain and life is the same.
What are your hopes and dreams for your children as they grow up here?
I hope they keep what they learned from me and my culture, and they give back good things. I learned good things from the American community and the American culture so they can receive the best things in the world. Because when you mix good, you get good.
What would you say to someone who’s never tried falafel?
It’s time for it. It’s time to change your life. A lot of people don’t know what falafel is. I think it’s time for everyone to come and try it and if they don’t like it, we’ll give them something else for free. We will make sure you leave happy.