Shrubb’s Street Eatery mobile gourmet restaurant has made a permanent stop in downtown Fayette. To the delight of their many loyal customers, executive chef Billy Shrubb ’09 and sous chef Brandi (Woodson) Shrubb ’00 traded in the keys to their highly popular food truck and opened Shrubb’s Street Eatery on the second floor of the former Cabo Blue Sports Bar on Sunday, July 8.
“We owe a great deal of gratitude to many of the area residents and businesses,” Brandi said. “We wouldn’t have reached this point in our careers if it wasn’t for everyone who repeatedly ordered our food and shared their kind reviews with friends and co-workers. Billy and I would also like to thank Upper Iowa University and the entire Fayette community for welcoming us with open arms. We are extremely grateful for our family’s continuing support, especially that of our children, Baylie and Brennen, who have helped us with the food truck and with moving into our amazing new facility.”
“Table and chairs are a novel idea,” Billy smiled while looking across the restaurant’s dining area. “We have been serving our food on the road for over two years and we are happy to now have a place that our customers can actually sit and eat. That being said, Brandi and I learned so much during the time we spent together in the food truck. Among the biggest lessons was perfecting fast service without risking the quality and authenticity of our meals. It has certainly been a joint effort filled with respect for and communication between each other.”
A native of Stormville, New York, Billy has been in the food industry since he was a teenager working at a KFC in neighboring Fishkill, New York. Meanwhile, Brandi is a third-generation downtown Fayette business owner. Similar to her husband of 16 years, Brandi’s first experience in the food service industry began at the age of 14 when she waitressed at the Sugar Bowl in Fayette.
After enlisting in the military, the Shrubbs met in the U.S. Navy before Brandi introduced Billy to her hometown and Upper Iowa University. Brandi had earned a bachelor’s degree in arts administration, with a music and business emphasis, while Billy later earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing at UIU.
“As a nontraditional student, I especially enjoyed UIU,” Billy said. “I greatly appreciated the valuable conversations that professors like (Associate Professor of Management) Redmond Humphrey had with me outside of the classroom.”
“We are continuously putting the degrees we earned at UIU to work,” Brandi added. “From marketing to and interacting with our customers to creating the foundation of our business and designing its logo, our UIU experience was time and money well spent.”
The Shrubbs mobile restaurant has been known throughout the area for delivering its specialty sandwiches and other delicious cuisine since May 2016. Its long list of loyal customers continuously raved about the ever-changing menu, particularly the Alder Wood Grilled Mac ‘n’ Cheese Burger, Grilled Filet Mignon Alfredo, and of course, northeast Iowa’s original and highly acclaimed Chicken & Bacon Jam Flatbread.
The couple laugh when sharing stories of catching customers licking the lids of containers that their meals were served in or of the young student who once stole their daughter’s Hickory Smoked Bacon Quesadilla school lunch and now consistently checks to see when they are on the Shrubbs menu.
“It is definitely gratifying for people to get excited about our food,” Brandi said. “I never tire of people actually cheering when I arrive with a delivery. I think it’s pretty cool how we have established such a wide scale of interaction with our customer base, and we want that to continue. We don’t want people to just come eat at our restaurant, we want to make their visit a social event.”
“This may sound weird, but we like to make food that makes
people to stop eating,” Billy said. “We have so many customers pause during their meal, take a picture or compose a text to let us know how much they love our creations.
Brandi also mentioned that it is an amazing feeling when a customer informs them that the bacon jam changed their lives. While it may sound funny to hear someone say something like that, it makes the chefs’ day.
Now, a new generation of food lovers can enjoy the Shrubbs’ experience from the comforts of the Fayette restaurant. A few of the Shrubbs’ most popular dishes will remain regularly available, but the couple will continue to push the envelope in creating different daily specials. The global menu will continue to offer culinary treats from all over the world and variations on favorites found stateside. Their ongoing desire to promote locally grown farm-to-table ingredients will continue, having them showcase local offerings from the various seasons. The restaurant owners strongly encourage patrons to share culinary reviews and never be afraid to make a request.
“We love to hear customer feedback and know what they enjoyed most or would like to see on our menu,” Billy closed. “With an industry that is always changing it is useful and interesting to network with other chefs to discuss not only what’s new and exciting, but also what is traditional and authentic. It is fun to be part of the culinary world and to learn new techniques or about some new exotic ingredient and reveal your creations to the people that mean the most to you.”
Shrubb’s Street Eatery is open from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. seven days per week. The restaurant will be open for dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings in the near future. Advance bookings for after-hour group reservations and events are accepted. The Shrubbs will also continue their catering service. At the time of this publication, potential delivery and pick-up services were still in the planning stages.