Herefordshire seems to be inspiring hoards of young foodie entrepreneurs. We told you about The Shack Revolution a few months ago and this month we’re chatting with The Beefy Boys, another of Certainly Wood’s favourite haunts which is also based in our county town. The Beefy Boy’s themselves take up the story.
How did it get going?
The Beefy Boys is the very definition of a drunken BBQ that got out of hand. We were just four friends with a passion for eating who started getting together and cooking in our back gardens trying to recreate big man vs food style proper burgers as well as authentic American low and slow BBQ. This was about six years ago, back when pulled pork was something most Brits had never heard of - now you can walk into a Tesco Express and get a "Pulled Pork" sandwich.
It started out as a bit of a laugh really and we decided to enter Grillstock, which is now one of the UK’s top BBQ Festivals. We did pretty well and thought to ourselves if we started doing this as a hobby, we might earn a few quid. So we grabbed an old BBQ and a hot plate and approached local businesses we knew about going in on a quiet day of the week to set up a burger stand. We did this in various places in our hometown of Hereford and built up a good reputation. Back in those days we sold about 60 burgers via our pop-up restaurant and make a few quid each. It was all pretty gung ho and we learnt as we went along.
In 2014 Grillstock started a Burger Speciality event. We’d been perfecting our burger recipe at our local pop ups and a lot of the other teams at Grillstock knew burgers were our thing so there was quite a bit of pressure to do well in it. Luckily we won and that qualified us automatically for The World Burger Championships in Las Vegas where we competed against 50 of the world’s best burgers to be crowned second best in the world.
It was at that point we all made the decision to turn our hobby into a proper business. The PR we generated from doing so well as The World Burger Championships meant we jumped from selling 50 burgers a day at our pop up to 250, which was a very steep learning curve. Our pop ups went so well that we opened our first restaurant roughly 18 months later.
Who is behind the business?
There are four of us Daniel Mayo Evans, Christian Williams, Lee Symonds and Anthony Murphy - and we take care of the food side of things. We have our front of house and events’ manager Kate who keeps us all in line.
What is the company ethos?
We aim to serve truly authentic American burgers and BBQ, but made from quality, locally-sourced ingredients and especially world famous Herefordshire beef.
How much of the food you serve is local?
We source as much as we can locally. All the meat we use is from Herefordshire, our buns are made for us by award winning local baker Peter Cook and even the milk we use in our milkshakes comes from local dairies.
We are always on the look-out for local producers we can work with.
Do you make any concessions for vegetarians in the restaurant?
Yes we do we have various vegetarian burgers on offer and we’ll always do our best to accommodate any requests or special dietary requirements such as vegans or gluten intolerance.
What is your best seller?
That’s our classic Beefy Boy 21 day aged Herefordshire beef patty with Swiss cheese, American cheese, lettuce , onion, gherkin, smoked bacon and our special sauce.
Do you do outside catering?
Yes we offer outside catering for everything from weddings to corporate events. We’ve also just purchased a food truck so it’s a side of the business we would really like to expand. So if anyone has an event that needs catering and you want a damn tasty burger, give us a shout!
Why do they think Hereford is seeing so many start-up food businesses?
I think it’s a combination of being surrounded by such fantastic local produce and also rents being relatively cheap compared to other cities, so making it a lot easier for start-ups to get a foot in the door.
What are your plans for the future?
The next step for us is getting the food truck business sorted.
Then we’ve got the World Food Championships in Alabama in November and after that we’ll be looking at making moves towards opening a second restaurant.
Find out more about The Beefy Boys by visiting http://www.thebeefyboys.com and they’re open from 12 – 9.30pm 7 days a week in the Old Market, Hereford.