Umami Burger, under Adam’s stewardship, is still in active growth mode. He has just successfully raised an additional $20 million to expand. Brooklyn is on the immediate horizon.
Adam started Umami Burger because he perceived a gap in the marketplace. The successful better burger concepts out there were backwards/retro looking. What he wanted to do is a forward thinking concept using modernist techniques.
There are some 20 advancements with the basic Umami burger. For instance he utilizes shitake mushrooms, the variety of mushrooms with the most umami. He also uses sun-dried tomatoes because they are always full of flavor!
Umami is basically the taste characterizing all things savory.
Every Umami Burger location is different in design to capture the look and feel of the area it’s in. Every location has a signature burger.
By the end of 2013 Adam guesstimates that there will be 30 Umami Burger locations. He sees a maximum potential in the USA of perhaps 150 locations. He will only go into cities with an existing food culture.
Adam then talked about his pizza concept in Westwood, 800 Degrees. They are now serving 1,200 pizzas a day. He’s proud of the made-to-order pizzas they serve. They are going for the authentic Naples pizza certification which is the VPN Americas administered by the authentic Neapolitan pizza makers in Italy.
Money has been raised to expand the 800 Degrees pizza brand. Initial new locations will be focused in Los Angeles.
Fleischman’s newest project is a business incubator for creative food entrepreneurs. Umami Ventures will provide their expertise (and special ability to raise money) to grow exciting food concepts in partnership with the creating entrepreneurs.