Founded in 1982 by father-son duo Bus and Stan Earl Fuller, Earls has been built on the foundation of family since day one. While we’ve now grown to 67 locations across North America, that close-knit feeling is still rooted in our company today.
Leroy Earl “Bus” (short for Buster, a childhood nickname) 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 growing family to Canada, settling in Edmonton, Alberta. Here, he owned and operated a series of early A&W franchises (later expanding to 30 locations), steakhouse concepts, and the aptly-named Fullers – an 24hr diner.
The family moved to West Vancouver, BC in the seventies, where they’ve stayed ever since. It was after this final move that Bus and his eldest son Stan, staying true to their roots, started their first joint venture. When this restaurant opened, there was no question what the name would be. It had to be called Earls.
And so, the first Earls opened in 1982 on Calgary Trail in Edmonton. From their new home base in BC, they opened their second location in North Vancouver two years later in June of 1984. With the corporate Head Office located just down the street, Earls had found its new headquarters on the West Coast.
Bus and Stan never lost sight of where our business came from and what makes it special. We see ourselves as neighbours — we’re not just part of a community that needs a place to eat and drink, but sometimes a place to connect, a helping hand, a space to make memories, build relationships, and come back time and time again. It’s about being part of something bigger than ourselves. Our restaurant started with family and that still holds true today.
Now, Earls has grown to more than 67 locations and over 7,000 employees, but the legacy that Bus and Stan created through the generations still lives on in our restaurants today. In 2013, Stan passed on the torch to current Earls president, Mo Jessa. Starting as a dishwasher and working his way up every step of the way from senior cook to Sous Chef, Executive Chef, then finally Vice President of Operations, Mo is the first person outside the Fuller family to ever hold the position of President. Stan is still very much a part of Earls’ day-to-day operations as the company’s CEO. In 2019, Bus passed away at 91 years young. He still lives on in our hearts and in our restaurants.
This speaks to the passion for community we have at Earls — the close-knit relationships we build with each other over the years (whether it’s because you work with us, or grew up dining with us) can last a lifetime. The friendships and partnerships forged here continuously push us forward and help us strive to be better, every day. We grow because we ensure that first and foremost, our people can grow. When you’re with us, you’re family.
While the cuisine at Earls may have changed over the years, it remains true to Bus and Stan’s earliest vision: an approachable place made for friends to gather, families to celebrate, and partners (employees) to learn. A career where people start young and make friends for life, whether it’s in the kitchen, front of house, operations management, or just a summer job. A place where our relationships with each other, our guests, and our farmers inspire us daily. And a restaurant where the best ingredients, great service, and outstanding people are all brought together, leading us to where we are now: a leader in the food and beverage industry and one of North America’s most successful, most loved, family-owned restaurant groups.