Shuckin’ Shack’s Passion for Sustainability is About More Than Just Straws
Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar, founded in Carolina Beach, NC, grew out of a vision for a local establishment that would appeal to families of all ages. A place where friends and family can enjoy a great meal made up of fresh oysters, shrimp, burgers and creative cocktails in an environment that exudes relaxation making you feel like you’re on vacation, even if you’re a local.
LeeAnn Tluchowski, Shuckin Shack Oyster Bar’s Area Manager, took it upon herself to initiate sustainability best practices and recycling opportunities into the business plan, a plan in which she hopes to continue to develop over time as they continue to grow the franchise, which now has 16 locations and counting.
1. Where does your passion for recycling and sustainability come from?
I was born on Earthday so I have always had a connection to all things green. When I moved to North Carolina, I started volunteering with the Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project and learned a lot about what effects both positive and negative we as humans have on our environment, especially our oceans.
2. Tell us how you brought the importance of sustainable restaurant practices and recycling to Shuckin’ Shack, any stories on how this became what it is.
It has been a gradual process. We started with oyster recycling and then got involved with the skip the straw movement. In 2015 we became a certified Ocean Friendly Establishment through partnerships with Surfrider Foundation and Plastic Ocean Project.
This certification means that we have eliminated plastic to-go bags, styrofoam, plastic drink bottles, and encourage our customers to skip the straw. We feel it is important for us to take these necessary steps to protect the ocean and use our voice to encourage others to do so. Leading by example is the best way to make a change, it’s a lifestyle we are very proud of.
3. Where is Shuckin’ Shack taking these initiatives over the next few years?
We hope to have all locations certified Ocean Friendly Establishments by 2020. We also plan to grow our partnerships with sustainable companies including fisheries, food distributors, paper goods, and recycling projects. We want Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar to be known as an environmentally friendly company that gives back to the ocean that provides us with so much.
4. Favorite menu item and signature cocktail
If you see me at the Shack I am usually enjoying our Wild American Shrimp and a glass of Sangria!