Get to Know Burrito Shak in Monkey Junction
Expect a clean environment and fresh food at this hopping family-oriented business in Monkey Junction.
Many schoolteachers have — heck, NEED — side gigs. Some paint houses, some do landscaping and some sell things, like cars or insurance or, in at least one case, burritos and tacos.
Such is the story of Amanda Fabbie, who, along with her retired Marine husband, Jason, decided to leave the pressures of the modern classroom for the rigors of the food business.
As co-owners of Burrito Shak in Monkey Junction, Amanda and Jason — and their three children — pride themselves on serving famously fresh vegetables and meats in a clean setting to hungry patrons.
Many of those come directly from the always-packed parking lot in their location. “When I investigated locations, I noted that the Harris Teeter near us was one of the busiest in the area due to the number of schools nearby and the traffic heading to Carolina Beach,” Amanda says. “Business is always good because of that traffic.”
They opened on August 8, 2019. Amanda says that running her business is not overwhelmingly hard, but it is tiring. Thankfully, the arrangement she and Jason have splits the duties. Jason comes in early and sets up the back of the store for the day, and Amanda comes in later to prep the serving room and tables.
Prior to this business venture, Amanda, who had no business experience, says her time as a waitress in high school and college helped with knowing what needed to be done and when.
“My thirteen years as a teacher also helped immensely with the organizational side of the business,” she says.
Help comes also in the form of the couple’s family. Breanna, 15, and sixth grade twins Lauren and Landon are expected to pitch in.
The couple currently employs 16 people (with more expected when “the season” arrives). CEO Dave Longo is the husband of a teaching friend of Amanda’s. There are currently three Burrito Shaks in the company, and the menu and layout are pretty much standard across the locations.
“We are working with community groups and local marketing to reach more clientele from UNCW, Cape Fear Community College and local families within the Monkey Junction, Carolina Beach and Wilmington areas,” Amanda says
The business also caters and has already done four weddings as well as events for doctors and pharmaceutical companies. Patrons can also order online or call ahead for pickup.
Most customers at Burrito Shak are pleased by the freshness of the ingredients.
“What sets us apart is the freshness of our products,” Amanda says. “Our fresh vegetables are cut daily, and we use the best cuts of meats available. We also have in-house, freshly made sauces such as the Baja Vinaigrette, Chipotle Ranch, Creamy Avocado. Jalapeno BBQ and Poblano Crema to name a few. These sauces pull all the flavors of our bowls and burritos together.”
A variety of beverages are available in-house, including craft beers like Ballast Point and a few from Wicked Weed, along with mainstream offerings. But Jason, who’s the beer man for the business, says that the Mexican beers — Corona, Modelo and Dos Equis — are the ones that see the most action. In a burrito/taco environment this makes sense.
Amanda and Jason are also deeply involved in giving back to their communities.
“We support our local schools, kids’ recreation sport and other community groups through donations and give back nights,” Amanda says. “We also give back to military members and our local law enforcement.”
If you’re a fan of fresh food, burritos and tacos served in a clean, friendly setting whose motto is “Quick, Crafted and Coastal,” head for Burrito Shak. It’s open Monday through Saturday from 11 am to 9 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm.
If you’re as lucky as I was, you’ll find a parking spot right in front of the place and a great meal and beer.
5916 Carolina Beach Road, Suite 150, Wilmington