Categories: Business

St. Albert in for a treat

SWEET TREATS – Parth Shukla

The latest food fad has made its way to St. Albert in a big way.

Freakshakes, the overloaded, overindulgent version of a milkshake that has your salivary glands going wild each time you turn to Instagram, are now available at SixnSeven on St. Anne Street.

Topped with cream, sauce, waffles, cookies, candy and sometimes even cake, owner Parth Shukla said on a scale of 10, these bad boys are a 25.

“You have to dig in before you actually get to the milkshake you ordered,” he said.

Born and raised in India, Shukla had wanted to open a diner since he was studying culinary arts in the U.K. But over the last decade many such burger-and-shake-establishments have opened their doors. Shukla felt forced to rethink his original plan.

“This concept has really taken off and now you have three of them on one street,” he said.

After much research and travel, Shukla decided to stick with comfort food, but with a few added twists – like freakshakes and steamed burgers.

Steamed burgers are another trending treat. Popular south of the border, in states like Connecticut, steaming creates a tender, juicy patty.

SixnSeven officially opened in April, but after eight weeks of renovations the new-and-improved diner was re-opened to the public on Thanksgiving.

Located in what used to be a car wash, the restaurant was in desperate need of some TLC, said Shukla.

“It was a perfect opportunity for me to execute and put into practice what I have learned all my life,” he said.

Shukla has a background in hospitality and the culinary arts, completed postsecondary studies in both India and the U.K. Unfortunately, the owner’s new immigrant status made applying for the necessary capital a lengthy process.

Shukla kept his diner running for five months before he was able to undertake the renovations.

What was then an empty space with a rudimentary kitchen and only a few tables and chairs, is now a welcome, charming 46-seat diner.

Shukla said he was “gobsmacked” by the community support he has received since he began his venture.

“The way the community has gathered around me and helped me is immense,” he said.

This community support is reciprocated. The restaurant serves six local beers and orders all its beef from a farm only 20 minutes outside St. Albert. The butcher is also local.

Michelle Ferguson: