It seems like every one these days is taking pictures in front of the Sugar Shack, the magical little service location for Mrs. Mekler's Mercantile tucked in the woods of Cohasset. The Sugar Shack has quickly become a staple for people from all over the South Shore and beyond to visit and stock up on delicious treats. But who is making the delicious treats? Who is stocking this charming little shack every morning with treats for us all to enjoy? Who is Mrs. Mekler, anyway?
Lucky for you, Mrs. M agreed to an interview so that Macaroni Kid readers no longer need to wonder. Read along to learn all about Mrs. M, her mercantile and the story behind the Sugar Shack. I absolutely loved hearing her story and I know you will, too!
Who is Mrs. Mekler?
My name is Jenn Mekler. I started my food journey in my moms bakery (Maggie’s corner) way back in the 70’s. Then I went to Boston as an executive pastry chef for a high end cupcake co. Then purchased 5 South Main in Cohasset. I opened Baked cupcakes in Scituate then Cohasset. My last (!!!) venture in restaurants was a full dinner restaurant in Foxboro.
Team or solo?
OMG! There is a team of wonderful humans who make us what we are!! My goal was to bring talented people together to do what they do well. No one person is an island.
When did the sugar shack open and how did the idea come about? Do you need special permitting to open such a unique place?
The sugar shack opened in November 2020… I had “retired” from restaurant life and was planning to travel for a year with my mom and some of her friends. Then Covid hit and that squashed that dream but not before we had some fun.
With no plan for my future, everyone’s patience with this was running thin. So out for a good long solo walk one day I was coming up the driveway and I asked the universe what it had in mind. Seems crazy I know. Then it was like I always knew. Mrs mekler’s Mercantile name and all was just there screaming at me. I wanted to do all the things I loved about my past and all the things I hadn’t done yet.
I told my family my plan (including the sugar shack and it’s design) they all thought I was crazy except my dad. He jumped right on board to build the SS with me!
We have all of our permits from the town… building and board of health. Being in the food industry for 40+ years, this was easy to navigate.
I love your honor system in the sugar shack, it feels special and intimate. Were you ever nervous about people taking advantage?
The honor system works out beautifully. Do we have cameras? We plead the 5th :) I think people realize it is special and if they take advantage, it will not be in anyones best interest. We would hate to have to close it due to disrespect.
What is your favorite treat that you make?
I have a secret. I don’t eat sugar (since my 20’s) and I dislike food in general!!! My favorite things to create are the grazing boxes and jarcuteries.
Your favorite place to eat/drink:
Again, I do not enjoy food (since I was young) so a burger is my favorite. I am partial to the River shed in Scituate. I do not drink often so if I go for a burger I make sure they have a favorite on tap.
Your favorite place to play:
After being in the restaurant life for so long, my favorite places are quiet ones.
I have a Great Dane rescue so we go hiking 2x a day. I love libraries and the movies too… and a good afternoon paddle in a kayak!
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Tell us about your specials!
Valentines specials are on our website but we have fun options! Like grazing boxes, cookie stacked cakes, flourless chocolate cakes, chocolates to die for!
Any other fun facts or tidbits that you would like to share with your fans?!
I wanted to create something so interesting that little kids would remember it when they were older and say “mom and dad, remember that place in the woods full of goodies?”
How cool is that?
We have a 1961 Grumman Kurbside van we are building for the spring to be our mobile mercantile. Greta Van der Vroom is her name. You will be able to walk inside and shop your way through. So look for her at farmers markets this spring!
Thank you so much, Mrs. M! We are truly your biggest fans!