TikTok Sensation Spudman Ben Newman Draws Global Fans to Tamworth, Revitalizing Town Center

TikTok Sensation Spudman Ben Newman Draws Global Fans to Tamworth, Revitalizing Town Center

TikTok Spudman Ben Newman Transforms Tamworth with Viral Jacket Potato Sensation

In a culinary phenomenon fueled by TikTok, 39-year-old Ben Newman has turned Tamworth, Staffordshire, into a global attraction with his viral jacket potatoes.

Despite struggling with health challenges, Newman’s spuds have not only drawn hour-and-a-half queues but also customers from Malaysia and earned him a fanbase in Hawaii.

The success story, initially driven by social media novelty, has become a catalyst for revitalizing Tamworth’s struggling town center.

From TikTok Stardom to Global Attraction

Ben Newman’s TikTok videos showcasing his humble jacket potatoes have amassed 38.3 million likes, propelling him from 350,000 to 1.9 million followers in just a few months.

The spuds, once merely a local delight, have gained international acclaim, with customers traveling from Malaysia and even earning Newman a devoted following in Hawaii.

Impact on Tamworth’s Business Landscape

Newman’s internet stardom goes beyond his spuds; he has utilized his platform to boost other businesses in Tamworth.

Recognizing the changing dynamics of retail, he notes the decline in passing trade and word of mouth, emphasizing the significant impact on local businesses during challenging times like January.

Global Fame: From TikTok to Real-Life Pilgrimages

Despite suggestions to take his jacket potatoes on a national tour, Newman remains focused on bringing trade to Tamworth.

He expresses a desire to promote his town rather than travel the country, highlighting the importance of supporting local businesses and showcasing the broader industry.

Combining Social Media and Business Success

While the success of Ben Newman’s jacket potatoes is undeniably linked to TikTok, he emphasizes that the current wave of popularity extends beyond the culinary experience.

Acknowledging that customers are drawn to meet a TikToker, he views his venture as a social media business that sells potatoes, highlighting the evolving landscape where social media plays a crucial role in business success.

Health Struggles and Resilience

Ben Newman’s journey isn’t just about jacket potatoes; it’s intertwined with his health challenges.

Facing dialysis for the rest of his life and the potential loss of eyesight, Newman remains optimistic.

He shares that despite the fear, he won’t give up working, emphasizing his commitment to enjoying life and overcoming challenges.

Community Support and Charity Initiatives

In a testament to his commitment to the community, Ben Newman plans to host a ‘free day’ in Tamworth on January 27, offering free food and entertainment.

The event aims to support Kidney Research UK, reflecting Newman’s desire to give back and inspire positivity among his followers, many of whom are on dialysis.

Record-Breaking Success and Future Aspirations
Newman and his team continue to break records, selling 1,450 potatoes in a single day.

The overwhelming success has led to the purchase of a new catering trailer to accommodate the growing demand.

Despite his viral fame, Newman remains grounded, attributing the expansion to careful business decisions rather than relying solely on TikTok.

Looking Back and Forward: A Culinary Entrepreneur’s Journey

Reflecting on his journey that began over two decades ago with Newman’s Catering, Ben Newman expresses disbelief at the current success.

Despite the unexpected surge in fame, he remains humble, crediting his late father—a potato merchant—for instilling a love for the business.

A Personal Touch: From TikTok Monitoring to Global Influence

Ben Newman’s foray into TikTok wasn’t driven by a quest for fame or business expansion but initially served as a platform to monitor his children’s activities on the app.

His candid sharing of his 10-year dialysis journey and health struggles, including three failed kidney transplants, has contributed to the Spudman’s genuine connection with his audience.

Continued Success: Social Media, Business, and Giving Back

As Newman plans to attempt selling more than 1,500 spuds in a day, he emphasizes the fusion of social media and business.

With an eye on potential earnings at events and festivals, he envisions a business model capable of generating substantial revenue.

Newman’s story is one of resilience, community support, and the transformative power of viral content in the digital age.

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