No slack at the Shack

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Hugh Maloney Jr. puts finishing touches on a Lightning McQueen birthday cake. Eric Sparling – Amherst Daily News

By Eric Sparling


AMHERST – I’m hot.

No, I didn’t win some kind of beauty contest in the newsroom (although I think I can all agree I deserve to). I’ve been rented out for the afternoon to the task masters at Sugar Shack Bakery.

Oh, the name is benign enough. Visions of wagon rides and maple candy. But the reality? Toiling away producing dozens of sweet treats in a kitchen that had to be close to 100-degress Celsius. Or Fahrenheit. I get those confused.

It’s a family business. Sister Tammy is the manager. Dad Hugh is the dishwasher. Tammy’s rolling up cinnamon buns. It starts as a forbidding log of dough, butter, sugar and cinnamon. I fire up the power saw – I brought my Stihl from home – and section it into 30 rolls. They’ll sell hundreds on a busy day.

  “First year’s always a struggle,” he says. The baker is putting in long days six days a week.

I know how it feels. I’ve been toiling for most of two hours straight. I had to ice 24 cupcakes by hand AND get six brownies for a customer.

I’d complain but that’s not my style.

Amherst Daily News reporter Eric Sparling will be At Work with area employers every week. Much of what he writes here is true. He can be reached at




Organizations: Amherst Daily News

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Recent comments

  • Rob
    September 12, 2011 - 05:46

    Good luck with the business Hughie!!!