New operators of the Brooms Head Snak Shak Rhondah and Tameeka Gillespie.
New operators of the Brooms Head Snak Shak Rhondah and Tameeka Gillespie.

Brooms’ iconic Snak Shak back for the community

If Brooms Head is famous for its iconic brumby and its pristine beaches, the iconic Snak Shak by the sea is not far behind.

So it was with much excitement locals came to see doors open again after a long hiatus.

For new owners Tameeka and Rhondah Gillespie, both they and the customers have been overwhelmed by the new offering.

"We hit the ground running," Tameeka said. "We got the official notification we could start on the Monday before Christmas … and then it was just in and cleaning and getting it done."

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With the family involved in the business, from the mother-and daughter duo, to Tameekah's dad, sister and nephew behind the counter, they said many in the community were relieved to see local faces reopen the Snak Shak.

"Mum and dad live out here, our family dates back to the late 1800s," Tameeka said. "They've actually got the house which was my grandparents' - and they were out of the ballot as one of the original builders.

"Also our first cousins have owned the Snak Shak in the past, so it's very much a family business and we're carrying on the tradition."

For Tameekah, it has been a long held ambition to take over the coastal business, with a false start buying into the area four years ago.

"I've harboured the idea for a while now," she said. "But now I'm going to grab this with both hands and run with it.

"The lease is for 5+5 years so we've committed to the 10 years here."

New operators of the Brooms Head Snak Shak Rhondah and Tameeka Gillespie.
New operators of the Brooms Head Snak Shak Rhondah and Tameeka Gillespie.

The shop has gradually built its menu, battling supply issues with the short lead-in time over Christmas, but is already building a steady following.

"We started with drinks, coffee, milkshakes - and we've been selling milk and bread just to keep people happy on the other side of the counter," Tameeka said.

"Now we're getting accustomed to their taste buds on the other side of the counter and getting familiar with what people are wanting."

Over the last few days they've turned on the fryers for chips, fish boxes, and bacon and egg toasted sandwiches with plans to move into a breakfast menu and burgers soon.

There's a special emphasis on keeping the food and tastes local as well.

"Our meat comes from Nymboida, and we're really excited where it comes from," Tameeka said.

"We have our signature house salt which our nephew who works here made, and it's a massive hit - there's no chicken salt - and we have a signature sauce that's like a smoky hickory salsa."

While the response from locals and tourists alike has been overwhelming, the family's plans go further than just running a beach side takeaway.

"It's really exciting - the response on the other side of the counter is amazing - everyone is impressed by what we've done with the space and the place," Tameeka said.

"It's impressive - the platform is totally different. We're a cafe, we're not a fish and chip shop, and it's exciting to get things up and rolling."

Tameeka said the family really felt the community sense of ownership of their little Snak Shak, and had exciting plans to give back during the off-season as well.

"We want to dig our hands into the community and really branch out and look after them," Tameekah said.

"We want to run a mum and bubs group, and also get the older people involved … a day of bingo and trivia and bring them out on the community bus and do some different things.

"We'd love to have a night food market, which we're working with council to do something, and the vibe by the starlight, it'd be really nice."