While we are frequently amazed at the volume of new franchises emerging with little history or track record, next month we celebrate our 11th year of success since our first Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar was founded in Carolina Beach, NC! Co-founders Matt Piccinin (right) and Sean Cook (left) opened their restaurant doors the day after Thanksgiving - Black Friday - back in 2007. Before opening this business, the two could frequently be found palling around Carolina Beach, as Sean owned a beach rental shop on the island and Matt was a recent graduate of University of North Carolina - Wilmington.
2007 - What The Hell!
When asked how they got the idea to open the restaurant, Matt responded in a prior interview. “It was something that I had wanted to do. Sean called me one day and said that the property that he had his eye on for years was becoming available. He asked if I wanted to open an oyster bar with him. I had just graduated from UNCW and figured - what the hell!”
2012 - Restaurant Number Two
While the two took a few years to develop the concept of a “locals” oyster bar, they also found success with the thousands of tourists that visit Carolina Beach annually. They were anxious to develop the Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar restaurant as a concept that could be repeated in communities and buildings just about everywhere. In 2012, the pair opened their second location in the Downtown Historic district of Wilmington, NC. Looking back on the opening of their second restaurant, Matt said, “We were young and didn’t have a lot of money in the bank. It’s hard to learn how to run the business without letting the business run you.”
2014 - Restaurant Franchising Begins
After finding success with their second location and gaining confidence in the systems they had developed, a franchise company was formed. The co-founders hired Jonathan Weathington as CEO of the new franchise company who helped define a strategic growth plan that would keep the number of restaurants to reasonable and supportable numbers. Jonathan suggested, “We never want to be the fastest growing restaurant ever - we really want to have the most successful franchisees, who are active in their local communities and align with the relaxed lifestyle that Shuckin’ Shack is all about. ‘A Good Shuckin’ Time’ isn’t just a slogan for us - it is our mission statement too.”
2018 - 14 Locations and Counting
As 2018 comes to a close, we truly celebrate the dozen restaurants operating today, with two more set to open before within the next 60 days; a third location in Raleigh, NC, and our first restaurant in Georgia - Statesboro. For 2019, we have already started to build our first restaurants to open in the state of Florida, plus we’ll be adding three more restaurants to South Carolina and we also anticipate finding our ideal multi-unit franchise partners for our the first three Midwestern cities; Louisville, KY and Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.
As we celebrate 11 years of Shuckin’ Shack success next month, we sincerely thank our hardworking and loyal staff, our dedicated franchisees, and the thousands of loyal patrons who truly consider “The Shack” their own local restaurant and pub!
With our Jacksonville, NC restaurant gaining momentum for opening early in 2019, we want to remind those living in Pitt County or even in Greenville, NC proper that we are still looking for a strong franchise partner for this nearby market! Help us serve the thousands of sports fans and seafood lovers that surround ECU - many of whom may already be familiar with Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bars! Learn more about this exciting opportunity by watching our brief video here and requesting our free franchise information kit today!