Vt. teens’ burger business grills up a local following

Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 5:07 PM EDT
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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - There’s no shortage of yummy food in our area, especially when it comes to food trucks, but one new venture has attracted a dedicated fan base. What started as a group of high school friends cooking their favorite foods, has now evolved into a very successful business.

Summer break is coming to a close for many Vermont students, but this summer has been anything but a break for a trio of Mount Mansfield Union seniors who have had a sandwiched schedule this year slinging burgers.

Adam Weinstein, Shae Smith, and Ryan O’Neil are all co-owners of Gloryburger. This is year two that they’ve been in business. Before hitching their trailer, the boys began with a tent and a table.

“We were kind of obsessed with street food vendors and selling that kind of food. Our local farmers market in Richmond -- we were kinda like, ‘Oh, maybe we could start a little stand there,” Smith said.

Weinstein and Smith say they have always loved cooking, coming from families that are passionate about good food. “You know, whatever we were feeling. Kind of fast food items -- Philly cheesesteak, fried chicken, bagels,” Weinstein said.

“We made bagels, we made eggs benedict,” added Smith.

So when the two decided to sell their grub, they got some help from O’Neil. “I liked it and I wanted to help expand it. I wanted to add fries -- which we now have -- and all that kind of stuff. So, that’s kinda what got me on board,” O’Neil said.

Together, these burger boys bought a flatbed trailer over the winter and built it out to what it is today, traveling across the greater Burlington area to share their food.

A sandwich from the cart will set you back about $9 to $13.

Adam Weinstein: Yeah, we’ve had people tell us to raise our prices, but...

Shae Smith: We have. They used to be cheaper. That’s kinda, I don’t know, that’s kinda part of our...

Adam Weinstein: Yeah, we want to keep ‘em cheap.

Despite the buzz around these burgers, these guys have no interest in working in the food industry.

Shae Smith: I mean the food industry is a notoriously...

Ryan O’Neil: A tough place to work.

Shae Smith: Yeah, and so I don’t think any of us really want to be like a chef.

Ryan O’Neil: Doesn’t mean we wouldn’t want to own a chain or something like that.

For now, they’re the ones putting in the work. The friends can end up working more than 12 hours a day. “Some of our peers who have normal jobs, if they work all week, then they might be working the same amount of hours. We just are working a lot one day and then maybe not for a few days or whatever,” Smith said.

But they agree it’s worth it to be their own bosses and to have the responsibility. And the cash isn’t bad, either. “Definitely worth it at this point for us,” Weinstein said. “We’re at a point where we can sort of...”

“Sustain the business,” added O’Neil.

As for the name, the friends say they were running out of time and just picked Gloryburger. They say it’s grown on them since then.

They’ll be slinging burgers Thursday night from 5 to 8 in Veteran’s Memorial Park in South Burlington as part of the weekly “SoBu Night Out.”

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