After busy summer at Hamlin Beach, Snack Shack finds warm welcome in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 December 2019 at 8:35 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers: Heather Drew is co-owner of The Snack Shack at 50 North Main St. in Albion. She and Donald Buchanan started The Snack Shack this past summer at Hamlin Beach State Park. They decided to keep the business going in Albion.

ALBION – This summer, Heather Drew and her boyfriend Donald Buchanan ran the restaurant at Hamlin Beach State Park. Their business, The Snack Shack, proved popular at the state park.

“We got the best feedback in the world,” Drew said today.

When the season ended, the Albion couple looked for a spot for The Snack Shack in their hometown, and found that 50 North Main St., the Hazy Jade Gift Shop’s location for several years, was available. Drew and Buchanan opened in October.

Donald Buchanan and Heather Drew have a food trailer behind the Main Street building where the food is cooked. They plan to take the food trailer to special events in 2020.

In November, they added a food trailer behind the Main Street building. That is where the food is cooked. They do a lot of the food prep at Brightly’s Farm Market in Hamlin, where ther eis a commercial kitchen. Drew’s mother, Elizabeth Brightly, runs the farm market in Hamlin.

The Snack Shack is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and then from 5 to 8 p.m. Most of the orders are takeouts, but there is dining available. The Snack Shack offers free delivery within the Village of Albion.

Heather Drew peeks through the window of the food trailer. She has worked in the food business half of her life, beginning when she was 17.

Drew and Buchanan each have many years working in the food service business. Buchanan, 30, spent a decade at Uncle Sal’s in Albion. Drew, 33, started as a hostess at a restaurant when she was 17. She would later work as a bar manager at the former Crooked Door Tavern.

The couple was going at a brisk pace today with fish fry orders, and others from their menu. Some of their more popular dishes are crab rangoons, coconut shrimp, garbage plates and salads. They wanted to offer more than burgers and fries, but they have those as well.

They said 2019 was a great start for the business and they are looking forward to 2020. They want to take the food trailer to special events, including the concerts by the canal. They also will offer catering.

Drew and Buchanan both said they enjoy the fast-paced food service business.

“We want to offer something different,” Buchanan said. “We like satisfying everybody.”

They expect to be back at Hamlin Beach State Park this upcoming summer, but will be available for other events in Albion. During the park’s offseason, they plan to run The Snack Shack at the Main Street location.

For more information on The Snack Shack, click here.

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