The Pineapple sat down recently with Delray Beach resident Carrie LaNoce, owner of the just opened Shula Burger in Delray Marketplace. The Pineapple: Tell us about Shula Burger. Carrie LaNoce: Shula Burger grew from the popularity of our other Shula restaurants. People visiting the steak houses couldn’t stop raving about the burgers! We wanted to capitalize on the growing popularity of the fast-casual burger concept, and Shula Burger was born! Over the past year, two corporate-owned Shula Burger locations opened in South Florida, and then I opened the Delray Beach location, which is the first independently owned Shula Burger franchise. We can’t wait to add more locations. The Pineapple: Why bring this business to Delray Beach? LaNoce: I’m a Delray resident and entrepreneur, and I really wanted to helm a successful business right here my backyard, and people have been clamoring for a Shula Burger here in town. The other locations are popular, and we’ve had several people tell us how excited they are that we’ve brought this gourmet burger concept to the Delray area. The Pineapple: What does Shula Burger offer that other burger joints don’t? LaNoce: The prices of our burgers are competitive and often are lower than our competitors. But what’s really great about Shula Burger is that we’re using the best ingredients, too. Shula’s signature burgers are freshly made from a blend of premium Black Angus beef, short rib and brisket so that you enjoy a tasty, juicy burger every time. We also feature an array of gourmet toppings – balsamic greens, roasted red peppers and specialty spreads. There are some really unique combinations that make for a great tasting burger! We’ve also got iPads in the restaurant where customers can get recommendations for our beer and wine pairings. That has been a lot of fun for our guests. The Pineapple: What was the grand opening celebration like? LaNoce: It was a great day. We met so many new people, who we hope will continue to visit us down the line and become Shula Burger regulars. It was good to talk with the customers and see how much they enjoyed the food and the company! We also gave away free burgers for a year to 50 people. The Pineapple: What was the reaction to the win free burgers for a year giveaway? LaNoce: Our customers really loved this. Who doesn’t want to win free burgers for a year? We’ve been posting pictures of the winners on our Facebook page, and there have been some envious people out there wishing they had a free burger card! The Pineapple: What was the customer reaction to the great Don Shula being in town? LaNoce: Coach is always excited to get out there and greet his fans, whether they admire his coaching legacy or his restaurants, so it was a great day all around for everybody. Fans got to enjoy the great food and had a chance to talk with the legendary coach, so it was a win-win! The Pineapple: You planned to give 5 percent of the grand opening event proceeds to a local charity. What can you tell us about the organization? LaNoce: We actually ended up donating more than 5 percent! We will be donating $1,000 to Achievement Centers for Children and Families, an organization that has been near and dear to us for some time. This charity provides care for kids whose parents wouldn’t be able to keep their job or go to school without this service. The group offers programs designed for children and families of all ages, including toddler, preschool, afterschool, teen, adult and family programs. The Pineapple: What’s the best selling burger so far? LaNoce: Well, with all the great burgers on our menu, it’s hard for customers to choose! But the French Onion Burger, loaded with caramelized onions, gruyere cheese, garlic mayo and crushed garlic croutons has been a hit! People love the flavors, the crunch of the croutons and the top quality beef. The Pineapple: What menu items are people gravitating toward? LaNoce: We’ve had a lot of interest in Wine Country burger, which is topped with roasted peppers, goat cheese, balsamic greens and roasted tomatoes. It’s been a customer favorite! We’ve had several people commenting on our Facebook page about side items they love, too, like the onion rings and sweet potato tots. The Pineapple: Does Don have a favorite menu item? LaNoce: It’s hard for Coach to pick just one, but he does enjoy the burger that bears his name – The Don! The Don is a burger and hot dog combination with pickle, onion sauce, American cheese, ketchup, yellow mustard on a brioche style bun. He loves it!
SHULA BURGER Delray Marketplace 14917 Lyons Road, Suite 114, Delray Beach, Florida 561-404-1347 • www.shulaburger.com