One day picnic tables magically appeared at the site where Smuggler’s Cove once tossed out eats for folks who enjoy a little lakeside view with their dining.
Then once it made the social media rounds another salvo was fired when it was announced that food trucks would begin to find their way to the now empty parking lot.
Intrigued, we caught up with Raeanne Huskey a Hess Lake neighbor of N3 World Headquarters who provided the skinny on what could very well become the newest option for al fresco dining with a vista familiar to many of us.
Who is behind this intriguing enterprise?
We are a family owned and operated business. All American North Country Store is run by myself & my husband Greg Huskey, my parents Leon & Terrie Thompson, and my brother and their wives (Nathan & Shannon Thompson and Jacob and Katelyn Thompson). We also operate other local businesses such as American Classic Roofing & Building Supply, American Classic Dumpsters, & American Classic Forestry. We are a family that learned at a young age the importance of family, teamwork, hard work ethic, and dedication to our goals. Now today we consider ourselves fortunate and blessed to be able to live the dream my parents (Leon & Terrie) had for us to all work together and build a legacy for our family. Not today we have 16 kids amongst us that we continue to teach the value of family, team work, hard work, and dedication.
How did the original idea of the tables come about?
Leon stumbled across an ad for picnic tables being built in the Allendale area by a local craftsman. We hate to see the beautiful view of Hess Lake not be enjoyed by our community. We thought the tables would be a nice addition for our local community to still enjoy the lake view this summer.
There was some action on social media posts about the tables regarding food trucks. Was this already in the works or did the feedback influence the idea?
The food truck idea has been in the works for awhile now. We just had not announced it to the community. We are still locking in vendors for the remainder of the summer to set up on site so that our community can sample some of the great cuisine these food trucks have to offer.
There are a couple of trucks coming up this Saturday.Who are they and are there plans for others? Any candidates?
How did the trucks (who have been idled a great deal this year) react?
This Saturday (6/20) Pizza Parliament and Ice Box Ice Cream will be joining us for the day. Serving both lunch and dinner. We also have Kool Breze coming on Fathers Day (6/21) for the day. Ohana Ice will be here over the 4th of July holiday weekend. I've been making and taking a lot of different calls from various food truck vendors. We will have several other trucks visiting Hess Lake this summer. They will each be announced as the plans come together.
Hours will vary depending on the vendor. Most plan to stay between 11am and 8 or 9pm.
The truck vendors have all had very positive reactions. This summer season has turned out to be vastly different then they had all planned for at the beginning of 2020. Many have stated that they are enjoying being able to serve in new local communities and try out new areas that they haven't been to previously. They have all been excited for a new opportunity.
Why is this being done? What are the hopes?
Honestly, we are doing this to give back to our community who greatly miss the beloved Smugglers Cove and having a food option available on the lake. We are also hoping that this opens up some new doors and opportunities for food truck vendors that need to fill their summers where they have suddenly found voids. And just for fun! My husband and I live on the lake and we think this will just be a much needed fun thing to do this summer. 2020 has been a year with lots of unexpected interruptions and food trucks on the lake with fun menus might just be something small to bring some smiles and joy to our small community.
Anything you want to add?
Since moving here and deciding to add the All American North Country Store - Hess Lake to our chain we have just fallen in love with this great community. We are blessed to be surrounded by great people around Newaygo and on Hess & Brooks Lake. We are excited to continue to breathe some new life and try some new innovative things here. We truly hope our everyone enjoys the food trucks as much as we have enjoyed putting this all together.
There you have it. The opportunity to sit awhile at the North Shore/Smuggler’s site, enjoy some good food and take in a familiar view.
The only thing missing?
Kudos to the folks behind this initiative. If there’s anything we all need after weathering the recent trying times it's something new to get a little excited about.
And nothing gets us excited like the prospect of an enticing variety of food truck dining.
And Pizza Parliament is a seriously good start.
See you there.
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