Many people have fond childhood memories of getting a couple dollars from the grownups and buying some fries, ice cream or hot dogs at a beachside snack stand at the ocean or a lake.
Blair Goodmen and Vanessa Libby know that nostalgia hits hard. But with his culinary credentials and her marketing acumen and shared love of food, they plan to keep the classic menu items and create some new, contemporary treats at the Snack Shack at Morgan’s Beach on Cold Stream Pond in Enfield, which they took over management of this year.
“We plan on offering classic Maine flavors and food items while still serving up the summertime favorites,” Libby said.
In addition to beach treats like burgers, doughboys and onion rings, the pair have introduced some fun additions like deep fried fiddleheads topped with homemade hoisin sauce and seaweed flakes with wasabi dipping sauce on the side, and also have lobster rolls and haddock sandwiches. They also began offering breakfast at the Snack Shack, with traditional breakfast spreads and pancakes alongside breakfast burritos and huevos rancheros-style tater tots.
Morgan’s Beach has been a beloved place for swimming, picnics, playtime in the sun and parties in the rentable pavilion for many decades, operated by the town of Enfield for nearly a century. Cold Stream Pond is renowned for its clear, clean water, and it’s been a favorite spot for families for generations.
In a few weeks, Goodmen and Libby will also open a new snack cart in Prince Thomas Park in neighboring Lincoln, where they will offer dishes including tacos filled with Korean beef and adobo chicken, and homemade churros.
Both Libby and Goodmen relocated to northern Penobscot County in the past three years. Goodmen grew up in Michigan and later attended culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Las Vegas, working in kitchens all across the country, including in an oil field in Alaska and for a catering company in New York City. In 2021, he moved to Maine to be closer to family. Libby moved to Maine around the same time, as her husband had taken a job in Lincoln.
The pair met while serving in their church’s kitchen ministry, and found a shared love of food and community. They later planned a Valentine’s Day dinner party that was a huge success, and are now organizing church potlucks with a modern twist — they held their first one on May 5, with a Cinco de Mayo theme featuring the Tex-Mex cuisine Goodmen grew to love during his time out west.
“When the opportunity arose to lease The Snack Shack, it seemed like a no-brainer,” Libby said. “This is the beginning of more to come, one example being that we plan to bring a supper club to the area that will highlight the more fine dining options.”
Libby said they are trying to source as many of their products locally as possible, including gluten-free breads, rolls and whoopie pies from Raegamuffin Bakery in Veazie, freeze-dried candy from River Trip Homestead in Lincoln, and local produce and Maine seafood as well. They also want to hire local teens to run both the shack and the cart.
“We are hoping to provide a great first work experience for local teens, through food, and have fun while doing it,” she said.