Blake Buchholz and Alex Ewig practiced entrepreneurial planning for years during their careers at Hudson High School. As co-presidents of Hudson’s DECA, a global program for emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management, starting a business is right in their wheelhouse.
As they graduate from Hudson High School in 2022, they are already putting those skills into action to “experience the real thing,” Ewig said.
On Monday, July 25, just a few days after the completion of construction on the Beach House, the two opened St. Croix Snack Shack.
With classic fare like ice cream sandwiches, skittles, chips and drinks, the Snack Shack also serves a waffle on a stick, a cold drink and more.
All of these proposals come after a long six-plus months of planning.
Buchholz and Ewig, who grew up in Hudson Parks and grew up as young entrepreneurs looking for viable business opportunities.
Their first pitch to the Hudson Parks board was similar to a cafe, but set up in the Hudson Dog Park.
Although intrigued by their quest to meet the needs of the Hudson community, the board had a better idea.
Currently St. Croix Snack Shack is located in the board-proposed beach house that overlooks the water at Lakefront Park Beach. When Buchholz and Ewig gathered friends and family to begin the setup, they first had to get rid of cobwebs and dust. But the place took shape quickly, the equipment moved and the doors opened.
The hard work on the front end, as well as the hours Buchholz and Ewig put in every day, is paying off in many ways. One of which is the amazing view of the sunset when they are almost closing.
Monday through Sunday, noon to 9 p.m., the Snack Shack is open for orders, and tonight, Friday, July 29, at 6 p.m., everyone is invited.
To celebrate, Snack Shack is offering $1 snow cones, and for every $5 spent, your name will be entered into a drawing for a pair of Apple AirPods.
Right now, the mentality is one of learning, Buchholz explained. Since this is their first business venture, they are always open and looking for suggestions from the community as well as other local business owners.
The St. Croix Snack Shack has plans to partner with Wolfy’s, an artisan butcher shop and deli in downtown Hudson, to sell some of their sandwiches. Not only was it a great way to collaborate with other local business owners, Buchholz and Ewig are grateful for the wisdom other entrepreneurs were able to provide as they dived headfirst into their own startup.
Despite the grueling challenge of getting up and running, such as health inspections, paperwork and city approvals, Buchholz and Ewig are already thinking about what’s next for Snack Shack St. Croix.
Can they partner with more local businesses? With rights to sell down the levee and around Lakefront Park, will they expand into waterfront cart locations?
This summer, the boys called it a “proof of concept” to work at a job far different from that of many of their peers.
Although it’s only been a week, the two have every intention of reopening next summer and the summers to come.
Both will head to their first semester of college this fall, Buchholz at the University of Southern California and Juig at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, both with business interests. What they learn in the classroom, they have every intention of applying to the St. Louis business model. Croix Snack Shack.