By Dean Vaglia
Leader Staff Writer
Bring on the ButterBurgers and crack out the custard — Culver’s has come to Oxford.
A new Culver’s restaurant along M-24 north of Oxford Village opened for business on July 6. Serving guests both in its dining room and drive-through, it is the third of the Wisconsin-born and bred burger chain for owners Andrew and Vicki Zielke, of Independence Township.
Restaurant ownership was always a goal of the Zielkes, who have been married for 24 years and have operated Culver’s restaurants since 2014. The couple’s other locations are in Rochester Hills and Livonia.
“We fell in love with the Culver’s brand,” Vicki said. “The food quality is comparable to nothing, no other fast-casual food line … and other fast-casual environments, our food is bar none far superior.”
Culver’s is best known for its signature “ButterBurgers” — hamburgers which feature buttered and toasted buns — and custard, though other menu options include chicken, fish and shrimp.
When it came to setting up their third restaurant, the Zielkes found Oxford to be the perfect location.
“Oxford is close to our home,” Vicki, who is the operations manager across all three locations, said. “We enjoy being a part of a community that has a small-town feel.”
Plans to open a Culver’s in Oxford were submitted to the township in 2019, considered at the Aug. 22 planning commission meeting and approved in September. Construction was handled by Andrew’s Rosetta Building Company.
One of the things that excites Vicki the most about operating in Oxford are the opportunities to work with community groups and institutions.
“We hope that people reach out to us to get involved,” Vicki said. “I am looking forward to being involved with schools and churches alike and being part of this wonderful city and learning more about Oxford myself.”
The Oxford Culver’s currently has around 50 full and part-time employees and Vicki is looking to hire 10 to 15 more.
“I have a lot of minors applying and I love my minors,” Vicki said. “The kids and the families who are sending their kids my way I am so appreciative for; so thankful for. The work ethic that is established in Oxford is something families should be really proud of.”
Anyone interested in working at Culver’s can apply at Culvers.com/careers. Community groups looking to work with Culver’s for events can contact the Zielke’s by calling 248-256-6051 and at email@example.com.
By Dean Vaglia