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Bury St Edmunds born restaurateur Chris Sharman reveals the secret to his success




A restaurateur who is to open two eateries in Bury St Edmunds as he expands his empire says the secret to his success is taking 'care and pride' in the food he serves.

Chris Sharman hopes to welcome customers by November to Dough & Co Woodfired Pizza, at the former Patisserie Valerie, in Abbeygate Street, and Burger Amour, which is due to occupy the former ASK Italian , in Parkway.

The two restaurants will create about 60 jobs.

Chris Sharman is to open Dough and Co Woodfired Pizza at the former Patisserie Valerie and Burger Amour at the former ASK Italian in Bury St Edmunds. Picture by Mark Westley
Chris Sharman is to open Dough and Co Woodfired Pizza at the former Patisserie Valerie and Burger Amour at the former ASK Italian in Bury St Edmunds. Picture by Mark Westley

The 28-year-old entrepreneur, who was born in Bury, started his culinary career as a pot washer aged 13, became a head chef and will have 11 restaurants by the end of the year.

His first was a Dough & Co, in Sudbury, which launched in 2018 as part of a five-year vision to have 50 self-funded restaurants.

Chris said: “I’ve wanted to open one in Bury for the longest time. There’s three other Dough & Co restaurants and they’re all in really nice old buildings that have some history to them. The reason Patisserie Valerie is particularly good, apart from being in Abbeygate Street, is the fact there’s an old chimney so we’re able to use that.

Chris Sharman is to open Dough and Co Woodfired Pizza at the former Patisserie Valerie and Burger Amour at the former ASK Italian in Bury St Edmunds. Picture by Mark Westley
Chris Sharman is to open Dough and Co Woodfired Pizza at the former Patisserie Valerie and Burger Amour at the former ASK Italian in Bury St Edmunds. Picture by Mark Westley

“Bury is a beautiful, vibrant town that really suits our brand.”

The restaurant will have 50 covers and Chris is waiting for planning permission from West Suffolk Council for its opening hours.

Dough & Co also has outlets in Colchester and Bishop’s Stortford with a branch due to open in Halstead next month.

Burger Amour, already based in Colchester and Bishop’s Stortford, has a ‘lighter, relaxed, fast-food’ style with food ordered via computers.

It’s really more about actually we do care about customers. We do want to be proud of what we serve - Chris Sharman

Chris said: “It’s about being an honest brand that creates good value for money so not only are our pizzas a little cheaper than most of the chains but the ingredients are imported mostly from Italy apart from some things like meat.

"We use local rare bred meats for the most part.

"We use proper chefs. We have to make the dough, it’s all done in house. It requires a lot of skill so we have to put a lot of training into our chefs and we regularly do lots of training.

"We’re not all about profit because I’m a chef, it’s never always been about making loads of money.

"We make good money and it grows itself but it’s really more about actually we do care about customers. We do want to be proud of what we serve.”

As a chef, Chris has won AA rosettes and worked for The Angel, in Lavenham, when it was owned by Marco Pierre White.

He initially started his pizzeria business in a converted horse box, which he took to big events before launching a restaurant.

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