The Toasted Frog owner Shawn Clapp on its name, its fried pickles and more

The Grand Forks Herald sat down with The Toasted Frog owner Shawn Clapp for 5 Questions this week to talk about how it got its name, why its fried pickles became so popular and more.

Shawn Clapp
Toasted Frog co-owner Shawn Clapp is featured in this Herald file photo.
Herald photo by John Stennes
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GRAND FORKS — The Grand Forks Herald sat down with The Toasted Frog owner Shawn Clapp for 5 Questions this week to talk about how it got its name, why its fried pickles became so popular and more.

Q: Why did you open The Toasted Frog’s location in Grand Forks?

A: I had been doing the Hotel Donaldson in Fargo and kind of was just was getting fed up with the business, and my former boss and mentor Kim Holmes talked me into moving back to Grand Forks, and that's kind of how that happened.

Q: How did The Toasted Frog get its name?

A: It's not that great of a story, but it was actually myself, Kim Holmes and my dad sitting around having beers one night and just kind of coming up with names for restaurants, and that one kind of stuck. We all take credit for coming up with it, but I trademarked it at that time and just kind of paid the trademark on it for about six (or) seven years before I actually ever used it.


Q: Why do you think The Toasted Frog's fried pickles became so popular?

A: They're good, and they're unique. And beyond that, I don't know. I think it was just a word of mouth thing. People just started talking about them. The first time we ever did them, we just rolled up a couple, and I brought them around to people in the restaurant and had them try them, got some feedback, and decided we needed kind of a spicy sauce for them. We did it again, and then these people would come back and order them, and we were rolling them to order, and then other people would see them eating them, and they'd be like, “What are those?” And, “We want some,” and it just kind of steamrolled, and then eventually it became so big that we had to start prepping them ahead of time. It just took off.

Q: What do you think are the benefits of having a restaurant downtown?

A: I have one in Grand Forks, Fargo and Bismarck — all (downtown) — but Grand Forks is very supportive of their downtown. At least most of the people are, I believe, and I'm a local here, and I think I had a good support group around me, and we just have a lot of good faithful customers.

Q: What is your personal favorite dish on the menu?

A: So many. I'd probably have to go with our buffalo wings. They're so good. But the calamari is delicious. I love our pizzas, our steaks, the walleye, fish tacos… I could go on. I have a lot of favorites. I like to mix it up.

Jacob Holley joined the Grand Forks Herald as its business reporter in June 2021.

Holley's beat at the Grand Forks Herald is broad and includes a variety of topics, including small business, national trends and more.

Readers can reach Holley at him on Twitter @JakeHolleyMedia.
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