Leroy Earl "Bus" (short for Buster, a childhood nick name) Fuller, the patriarch of Earls, was born in 1928 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Bus first entered the restaurant business a few years after he was wounded in the Korean War, opening coffee shops and cafes that served the local farmers of Montana.
In the late fifties Bus moved his young, growing family to Canada settling in Edmonton owning and operating a series of early A&W franchises, later expanding to 30 locations as well as steakhouse concepts.
The family moved to West Vancouver, BC in the seventies.
In 1982 Bus and his eldest son Stanley opened the first Earls restaurant on Whyte Avenue in Edmonton, AB (now closed).
With their home base in BC, they opened their second location in North Vancouver in June of 1984. The corporate head office was just down the street.
Earls’ early success was based on innovation; the best ingredients and great service.
Burgers were made fresh, to order and from scratch (a concept unheard of back in the early eighties).
Beer was from small craft brewers, wine from family wineries and table service was warm, friendly and professional – all with an affordable price point that attracted young singles and families.
While the younger brothers finished school, Earls success caught on growing to seven locations and Stan took a year off to travel the culinary capitals of Europe returning with concepts never tried before in casual restaurants.
Real parmesan cheese, tomato sauce made in house from fresh San Marzano tomatoes, and bread made from scratch and baked in Forno ovens.
The culinary inspiration trips continue to this day; noodle dishes learned in Asia, fish taco’s right from the grill in Mexico, bright fresh chicken and avocado dishes inspired by trips to California and our house made pasta sauces from Italy.
The cuisine at Earls may have gotten more sophisticated over the years, but it remains true to the early visions of Bus and Stan – an approachable place locals dine for lunch daily, friends meet after work, and families celebrate.
The entrepreneurial legacy that Bus created continued through the generations and as the Fuller boys started their own families and all became successful in their own rights in various restaurant concepts.
Earls has remained a leader in the restaurant industry and one of North America’s most successful private, family owned restaurant groups.
After decades of hands-on dedication to his restaurant empire, Bus remains involved in key decision making as Chairman, but also spends his well-earned leisure time in the Arizona sunshine or with a fishing line in the water.