Fatty Lumpkins Sandwich Shack

Funky sandwich shop pushes the boundaries

Brett and Jera Gilbert, owners of Fatty Lumpkins Sandwich Shack
Brett and Jera Gilbert, owners of Fatty Lumpkins Sandwich Shack
Photos: Fatty Lumpkins Sandwich Shack

By Kelsey Smith

There’s no shortage of fun at Fatty Lumpkins Sandwich Shack. A cozy neighborhood spot in Muskegon, Fatty Lumpkins serves up fresh, homemade sandwiches, salads, soups and sides that are talked about all over town.

“We haven’t been allowed by our customers to take anything off of the menu,” said Jera Gilbert, co-owner. “We definitely want our customers to feel like they’re a part of us and we’re a part of them — it’s a mutual love back and forth.”

Jera and her husband, Brett, opened Fatty Lumpkins in 2011 after moving back home to Muskegon from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. And the inspiration behind the sandwich shop’s name? Well, that’s a funny story.

The Gilberts became regulars at a local sandwich shop in Fort Lauderdale and they ended up creating their own sandwich — the Fatty Lumpkin. It’s made with ham, turkey, roast beef and every topping imaginable, Gilbert said.

Fatty Lumpkins Sandwich Shack

“We saw that the sandwich was pretty fat and lumpy, so that was the name we came up with — we thought it was pretty funny,” Gilbert said. “And we got to know the guy that worked at the shop really well. He was behind the counter every single day, so our logo is an ode to him.

“We didn’t want to have a generic or boring name, we wanted something that caught people’s attention. We asked our family and friends about the name first, and they laughed when they heard it. And that’s what we were looking for.”

The Gilberts locally source ingredients as much as they can and they also use premium Boar’s Head products. In addition to its mainstay menu, the shop offers a daily sandwich special (which typically sells out).

“Sandwich specials fly out the door here,” Gilbert said. “If you want to come in every day, you can always get something new. And we make everything in-house and try to stick with seasonal flavors. We look to our customers, too, for inspiration. We listen to what people are wanting.”

The white chicken chili, apple pecan chicken salad and Fatty hoagie are the shop’s biggest sellers.

“The apple pecan chicken salad is huge,” Gilbert said. “We sell that like crazy. People say it’s the best they’ve ever tried.”

Aside from serving up delicious, homemade meals, the Gilberts ultimately want their customers to feel welcomed.

“We always say even above our food, our customer service is super important to us,” Gilbert said. “We really try to make sure that your experience is even maybe more memorable than the food. You’ll always remember how you were treated and how people will make you feel. It’s a no-frills, come as you are, hang out as you are type of place.”

Fatty Lumpkins Sandwich Shack

Fatty Lumpkins Sandwich Shack
971 Washington Ave., Mukegon