The Shack is Back!


Sugar Shake is reopening in a new location across from the Draeger's Parking lot in Menlo Park. Staff Photo: Lucy Pike.

Lucy Pike, Staff Writer

After almost five years of being closed, the Sugar Shack will reopen on Oct. 8, 2019. The Sugar Shack announced their relaunch on Instagram in late September, and meanwhile the owner, Suzi Tinsley, has been preparing to open the Sugar Shack in a new location across from the Draeger’s parking lot in Menlo Park.

The Sugar Shack originally opened in 2007 in Menlo Park and closed in 2014. Tinsley has always been passionate about candy and the community. “I grew up here in Atherton and I always thought that every downtown needed a nice quintessential candy store for the kids to come to gather. So that’s what really prompted me to open the first space I felt that there wasn’t anything fun and fabulous for the kids,” Tinsley said. 

The new store is smaller than the previous Sugar Shack space, but Tinsley assures customers that the Shack will have the candies they love. “[We’ll have] the Varsity team —  They’re all the highest selling chocolates, the best gummies, and the best sour,” Tinsley said. Although there won’t be the entire selection of the old Shack, there will still be the best sellers.

Tinsley is hunting down many of the old decorations that were in the original Sugar Shack, such as the candy pillows. “I still have to track down the Jolly Ranchers, and the sweet tarts and those sorts of pillows,” Tinsley said. The Shack will also be selling new types of merchandise. “I have a logo person who has helped me design all the T-shirts and the pillows,” Tinsley added. 

The new Sugar Shack is also “within walking distance of seven schools,” Tinsley said, providing further accessibility of the Shack to students.

Tinsley hopes that the Sugar Shack’s reopening will “introduce the store to the younger generation, but then at the same time, welcome all of the high school kids that knew the original.” The new location in the Draeger’s parking lot also offers a versatility that the original location didn’t have. Tinsley envisions the new location as a hangout space where kids can be either after school or while their parents run errands downtown. 

Senior Emma Dressel has fond memories of the Sugar Shack. “My sisters and I would spend hours on the weekends in the shop. It was kind of the only break my mom had when she had four kids running around so she would take us to the sugar shack and let us go wild,” Dressel said.

Senior Megan Miller remembers first hearing the news that the Shack was closing. “I was super sad because all my middle school friends and I loved candy, but downtown Menlo Park just doesn’t have a lot happening, and [the Sugar Shack] was one of the only places my friends and I would hang out,” Miller said.

In the time that has elapsed since the closing, Tinsley has been focused on special occasions and corporate event business. “For the last four-and-a-half years I’ve been doing proms, Bar Mitzvahs, weddings and I’ve done a lot for Stanford Hospital, LinkedIn and Apple,” Tinsley said. Tinsley’s event business will continue alongside with the Shack reopening, but her priority will be the Shack. “I have several employees that will help me with my event business, while I’m focusing on the retail space because I really want to be here to greet everyone who walks through this door, at least for the first few months,” Tinsley added.

If you are hoping to see the Shack at a Menlo event, you are in luck. Menlo students can expect to see the Shack’s candy at the Valpo Fun Run on Oct. 6, as Tinsley is providing Sugar Shack candy at the event.