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Owner of pop-up burger company celebrates ‘mind-blowing’ success in lockdown

PUBLISHED: 10:47 08 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:40 17 September 2020

Tom Shiers celebrates the success of Fupburger during lockdown, which has been selling out at Norwich pubs Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Tom Shiers celebrates the success of Fupburger during lockdown, which has been selling out at Norwich pubs Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Archant

A burger company that has been popping up at Norwich pubs during lockdown has been selling out every time and the owner has now turned his hobby into a career.

The Fupburger team with chef Kieran Howard, owner Tom Shiers and head chef and manager Jeff Taylor (L-R) at the Monday pop-up at The York pub Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANThe Fupburger team with chef Kieran Howard, owner Tom Shiers and head chef and manager Jeff Taylor (L-R) at the Monday pop-up at The York pub Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Tom Shiers, 40, from Halesworth in Suffolk, launched Fupburger last July when he was given a pitch at Latitude Festival, after he “kicked up a fuss” as there wasn’t any local vendors.

Mr Shiers has also been running the Fry Up Police since 2014, which organises breakfast banquets and the last one was in 2018 in London and was a “bacon and booze affair” for 300 people.

Until lockdown, Fupburger was a side project as he worked full-time at a “rock and roll haulage company” moving bands on tours around Europe, including The Rolling Stones and Metallica.

READ MORE: Is Norwich’s Junkyard Market street food park worth visiting?

Loaded fries from Fupburger Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANLoaded fries from Fupburger Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

But with gigs unable to go ahead since the coronvirus outbreak, Mr Shiers was put on furlough and he is now being made redundant after 14 years working there.

Thankfully, he has plenty of reason to be positive as he has been running a successful pop-up at The Black Horse pub in Norwich since July.

Mr Shiers said: “I’ve always wanted to go full-time food, but I’ve never really been brave enough to turn down a salary to make the jump.

“All of a sudden it was taken out my hands so it has been a blessing in disguise.

Owner Tom Shiers says his burgers stand out because of the quality of ingredients, which he has carefully selected Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANOwner Tom Shiers says his burgers stand out because of the quality of ingredients, which he has carefully selected Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

“I was very nervous at the start and was taking pre-orders, but I have sold out every week since then and it has been a crazy and exciting journey.”

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As well as every Wednesday at The Black Horse, Mr Shiers is now at The York in Norwich on Mondays and The Cap in Harleston on Fridays and Saturdays.

The options are a Bad Mother Fupper or Big Mother Fupper, with one or two aged beef patties, respectively, with pancetta bacon, American cheese, picked onions and a secret sauce in a brioche bun, and loaded fries.

The Big Mother Fupper Burger includes two aged beef patties with pancetta bacon, American cheese, picked onions and secret sauce in a brioche bun Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANThe Big Mother Fupper Burger includes two aged beef patties with pancetta bacon, American cheese, picked onions and secret sauce in a brioche bun Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Mr Shiers added: “It is mind-blowing, I am frantically trying to clear my garage out at home to make into a kitchen and it is incredible.

“People have said we are purveyors of gourmet filth and I like that, we make really dirty food but out of the best possible ingredients.”


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