WHEN Rob Drummond first walked into his new store, it was nothing but a shell.
Mr Drummond recently took over the lease for the corner store on Fry St that was gutted by fire a few years ago.
After a month of hard work with partner Mel Spiliopoulos and a few friends, the store was reopened better than ever as the Snack Shack on Friday.
"The old owner came down and said it's the nicest the shop has looked in 45 years, which must mean we did something right," Mr Drummond said.
"Because of the fire and the damage it caused, it took a lot of work to get the building up to scratch for the council.
"We did the tiling, the painting... everything had to be repainted, fit all the benches and the equipment, the hoods, everything.
"We just put a bit of love in the place."
Mr Drummond, a trained chef, and Ms Spiliopoulos were the caterers for the Grafton Golf Club, but saw an opportunity in the market.
"There was no food after 7.30 of a night, and there was no food on a Sunday, so we could see that if we put food out like we put it out, there was an opportunity for us and for our growth and to turn over good food," he said.
The corner store might not seem like the place for fresh cuisine, but Mr Drummond is proud that everything on the menu - from the burgers to the cakes and slices - is made by hand onsite.
"We make everything ourselves using fresh local ingredients," he said.
"For the chicken schnitzel burger, I slice the breast and flatten it out, make the batter; we make the sauces by hand.
"If you go to any coffee shop in town, all their cakes come from the same company so they're all the same.
"That's why hand-making our food will make us stand out, and I think people appreciate the homestyle cooking that's made with love."
The first day of trade was good, and Mr Drummond hoped that was a good sign for the future.
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