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The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

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The Shoals Shack brings variety to the cuisine scene

Whitney Veazey
The storefront of The Shoals Shack.

What more can anyone ask for other than great food and great service? The Shoals Shack, located in Saint Florian, AL, provides exactly that. Since August 2020, Jennifer Tester and BJ Harris have been in the business of bringing new food options to the greater shoals area. 

Tester and Harris had the idea when they visited Tester’s parents back in the COVID-19 lockdown. Seeing as the building had continuously remained empty, they spoke to the landlord about opening it up. They moved from Florida to Saint Florian to make this dream come true. 

“It’s crazy to think that we did it all in a month,” Tester said. “We started working on it at the end of June and we were open by August 12th. I don’t even know how it happened.”

The building had been empty for a number of years and needed some work in order to become what it is today. The renovations and equipment were no small feat and allowed the pair and her parents to feel a sense of ownership and pride in what they were doing. 

Killen native, Lynn Presley said, “I always prefer the off-the-beaten-path kind of places over chain restaurants.” 

Tester’s parents retired and moved to the Shoals area back in 2020. They helped them settle in and eventually began the business. Harris and Tester moved here and in November of 2020, the Shoals Shack closed for two weeks. During that time, they went to Florida, moved as much as they could and then put the house up for sale.

“We actually bought a house the day before we opened,” Tester said. 

Business immediately took off and Tester realized they wouldn’t be able to do it all by themselves. Her parents helped a lot in the renovation process as well as working when it was up and running. Eventually, they hired help and the staff has stuck around ever since. 

“Luckily, everyone was so supportive and we were so busy that we did need to hire people,” Tester said. “Without [Sheila, Sharla, Haley and Matt] we couldn’t do this.”

The menu has a wide variety of options, not typically seen in the shoals area. Especially at one restaurant. Some items include shrimp tacos, eggplant fries and po’boys. On their Facebook page, they post specials weekly and regularly update the page. 

“[Tester and Harris] noticed there were hardly any options in town for vegetarian [food] unless people wanted a salad,” Tester said. “So we wanted to be able to give them like a burger, like a messy tofu burger.”  

Tester also added that a customer can substitute tofu on any sandwich or burger available. The restaurant also used biodegradable packaging and cutlery. Those who frequent the shack have nothing but amazing things to say about it. 

“I order [the Black and Bleu burger with eggplant fries] every time I’m here,” Presley said. 

The staff of the Shoals Shack takes great pride in what they are doing for this area. For providing a variety of menu options made deliciously each time. 

Tester said, “Everything we do is made with love and care. We really try to put our best out there.” 

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About the Contributors
Trenedy Parks
Trenedy Parks, Managing Editor
Trenedy Parks is a junior from Fayetteville, Tennessee. She is working towards a bachelor’s degree in journalism and digital media and a minor in human resources. She started as a staff writer for a year, News Editor for a year, and has been the managing editor since May 2024. Trenedy hopes to give the faculty, staff, and students of UNA news they can trust.
Whitney Veazey
Whitney Veazey, Chief Photographer
Whitney is a sophomore from Greenville, Ala. She is working towards a BFA with a concentration in photography. Whitney started at The Flor-Ala in Fall 2022 as a staff writer/photographer and is currently serving as chief photographer.

Comments (6)

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  • G

    GREG RISNERFeb 17, 2024 at 4:06 pm

    Awesome food and service. The owners are spectacular.

  • D

    Diane KingFeb 14, 2024 at 10:50 am


  • W

    Wanda BlackFeb 1, 2024 at 7:01 pm

    Amazing in every way. Imagination and variety are their mainstay. Try the Eggplant taco. Nobody beats the shrimp tacos. I could go on and on. Try it. You will love it.

  • C

    Connie CarterFeb 1, 2024 at 12:59 pm

    I’ve eaten some really good food there. It’s obvious they are much liked because every time I go by there when they are open, the parking is full. I travel this way almost daily.

  • E

    EddyFeb 1, 2024 at 11:02 am

    This is a great place to eat. Food is always good and all are very friendly people. The special for the week is different but always good.

  • R

    Ralph KillenFeb 1, 2024 at 9:08 am

    Great food,Great people !!!!
    Awesome Bella burger ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️