Momma's Snack Shack: A dream turned into reality
THREE RIVERS — Erin Bucher has always wanted to own her own restaurant ever since she was eight years old.
The now-31-year-old Three Rivers native said she used to play restaurant as a kid, sometimes with a cousin of hers, complete with laminated menus, something she said inspired her to go into the industry, starting with bussing tables at 16 years old at Bud’s Bar in Schoolcraft, owned by her aunt and uncle.
“I’ve just always wanted my own restaurant. I’ve worked in a lot of them, and I always wanted one of my own,” Bucher said.
Now, her dream has come true with Momma’s Snack Shack, located at the old Goldie’s and Appoloni’s building at 1205 N. Main St. in Three Rivers. Set to have a grand opening Thursday, June 3 at 4 p.m., Momma’s Snack Shack offers diner-style food in a drive-up/pick-up setting. They offer classic items such as burgers, hot dogs, chicken, pizza, desserts, and a multitude of the titular “snacks,” such as fries, onion rings, dill pickle spears, jalapeno poppers, pork rinds, cod sticks, chicken tacos and more.
The restaurant will share the building with another company, Duckin’ Truckin’ Express, and will take up the kitchen side of the building. Because of this, there is no indoor seating, with only a couple of benches for outdoor seating. Customers are asked to place orders at a door/window under the awning on the side of the building, with a car hop bringing the order out to the customer’s vehicle. Call-ahead orders can also be made by calling (269) 528-3939.
Bucher said it was exciting to finally have her restaurant open up to the public, and although she admitted it was “tiring” getting it ready to go, she said she was having a lot of fun with it so far.
“I tell my kids all the time, you do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,” Bucher said. “I feel like I‘ve worked, but I don’t feel like I’m working, if that makes sense.”
Bucher said she decided to open in Three Rivers after joking around with her mom, Kathy Rance, about buying the “old Appoloni’s building” because of the amount of space for the trucking company’s trucks.
“The next thing you know, she bought it,” Bucher said with a laugh. “It was an idea, and I was pretty much just joking, because we had plenty of space we could put offices in, we could keep the kitchen so we could have a break room, so why not? It’s plenty big enough.”
“We were planning on just putting the trucking part in and waiting for the restaurant part, but the restaurant just kind of took over,” Rance said.
The building was bought in mid-November, and by the end of November, Bucher said, paperwork was submitted to start the restaurant. When talking about the location and the setup for Momma’s Snack Shack, Bucher and Rance mentioned another restaurant that was at the location back in the 1950s, the Windmill Restaurant. Bucher said she wanted to bring back that sort of nostalgia.
“The drive-in part of the old Windmill is what I wanted to try to bring back. I like the whole 50s-era diners and drive-ins,” Bucher said.
The restaurant had a soft opening last Thursday, with feedback both in-person and on social media being “super positive” so far, Bucher said, with positive marks on social media for their pizza and burgers so far.
Overall, Bucher said she looks forward to seeing customers come in, and hopes the restaurant can be something the community can enjoy for years to come.
“I hope this becomes a good place for people to come and eat, a fun place for people to be, and family oriented,” Bucher said. “I also want to be able to give back to the community, help giving out coupons at the food bank or make enough money that I can give back to people who don’t have the luxuries in life I was given.”
Momma’s Snack Shack will be open Thursdays through Mondays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 23 or firstname.lastname@example.org.