It’s been seven months since Culver’s opened in Wesley Chapel, and owner Marty Roeske said the welcoming from guests still hasn’t stopped.
“There are a lot of Midwesterners living in the area who continually tell us how happy they are to finally have a Culver’s in Wesley Chapel,” said Marty.
Long-time Culver’s customers, as well as those new to the chain, keep coming back for the restaurant’s three cornerstone products:
—Frozen custard that is creamier and richer than ice cream because of its higher milk fat and eggs
— Burgers that only use 80% lean ground chuck that is never frozen, and are seared on a 475-degree grill
— Lightly battered cheese curds made from white and yellow Wisconsin cheddar and deep fried in canola oil– the healthiest of oils
“Culver’s is not considered fast food, but rather casual, family style dining, where everything is cooked fresh to order, using only farm-fresh ingredients. Never processed or precooked.” said Marty.
Culver’s menu also serves up Icelandic cod, jumbo shrimp & roast beef dinners, a variety of sandwiches, and seasonal salads with berries, bacon and chicken. During Lent, wild-netted walleye are added to the menu.
Its custard comes in dozens of flavors, including pumpkin that’s available now through Christmas, and eggnog in December. Custard is made fresh daily and is scooped into waffle cones, dishes, sundaes, shakes and malts.
Besides great food at affordable prices, customers keep coming back to Culver’s because of its outstanding customer service, inside and out.
“I’m here every morning, seven days a week, to focus on customer service,” said Marty. “I love talking to customers, making sure they’re happy with their food, getting them extra napkins and helping them with their trays. I set the example for excellent customer service for my entire team.”
This is the second Culver’s for Marty and his wife, Ann. They opened their first in 2000 in Wautoma, Wisconsin. That store is now managed and partially owned by their 28-year-old son, Eric.
Son Luke, who is 26, came with his folks to Florida to open the Wesley Chapel store and is now general manager. The family is looking to open a third Culver’s, ideally in the Land O’ Lakes area, in the next few years.
“Our kids grew up in the business — they were 9 and 12 when we opened our Wisconsin store,” said Marty. “We are very fortunate to have both of our sons working with us in the business.”
Marty explains that Culver’s is very much a family business — both at the corporate level and among its franchisees.
“This is the key reason why Culver’s is recognized for its outstanding customer service — because its owner-operators are very hands-on and almost always on- site,” said Marty.
Culvers began in 1984 when Craig Culver started a small family restaurant in Sauk City, Wisconsin, and slowly began opening franchise restaurants in Wisconsin and surrounding states.
Culver’s did not make it to Florida until 2013, and did not get to Tampa Bay until a year later. Today, there are seven Culver’s in Tampa Bay, and more than 25 in the state.
Culver’s in Wesley Chapel is located on State Road 56 at the entrance to Tampa Premium Outlets. It has seating for 100 inside, and another 24 on an outside patio area. The store employs 75 people.
Marty and Ann strongly believe in giving back to the community, and donate a percentage of sales to local schools on designated schools’ family nights. It has also provided meals to high school sports teams.
“We strive to make a difference in the community we share, by doing our part to help others —especially groups that help children,” said Marty.
2303 Sun Vista Drive, Lutz • (State Road 56 and Grand Cypress Drive)
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.