As part of Highlands Council’s “Five Questions” series, I spoke with Federico “Freddie” Ramos, founder, owner, and general manager of Agave Cocina & Tequilas. We talked about how Freddie, his family and staff, and the restaurant located at Grand Ridge Plaza are faring during the pandemic. In our interview, Freddie shares how the Ramos family has survived tough times before and how his customers continue to be the encouragement needed to keep the restaurant going during the current crisis.
Freddie, his brother, Julian, and their sister, Faviola, grew up in the restaurant business and always dreamed of owning their own one day. In 2008, the family jumped on the opportunity to open Agave in Issaquah Highlands. Julian managed the business, Federico was the bartender, and Faviola was the waitress. While the first two years of their business were the hardest, their experience was even more difficult as those years coincided with the economic recession.
Today the family is proud to still serve hand-crafted, Mexican food made from scratch; and boasts one of the largest selections of 100% Agave tequila in the area. Agave is now a multi-unit business, and new generations have joined the family business in every location, including their children, nieces, and nephews.
The pandemic is the most challenging experience of Freddie’s life in the restaurant business. He watched sales drop quickly during the initial shutdown and quickly adapted to take-out only service. The hardest thing? Temporarily laying off 80% of the Agave team. In our interview, Freddie expressed gratitude for Agave’s loyal customers with specific examples of how customer support has been such an encouragement and a lifeline to Agave. Be inspired by Freddie’s optimism for 2021 and beyond.
Christy Garrard is the executive director of Highlands Council.
Check out past interviews from our “Five Questions” series >>