Since Lisa and Lindsey Rusch were 8 years old, they knew they wanted to pursue careers in the food industry. Brekkie Shack, the restaurant the twin sisters opened in October, is that childhood dream come to fruition.
“We just absolutely loved baking growing up,” Lisa Rusch said. “We went on this trip with family and came back and wrote about it for a school project. We had to journal about our whole summer, and we wrote all about this restaurant that we went to on our vacation.”
That was the moment they knew how fun food could be.
They began baking and experimenting with different recipes — including the chocolate and peanut butter bars that now appear on the Brekkie Shack menu — and “over the years, that evolved into cooking,” Lisa Rusch said.
Lisa Rusch said Brekkie Shack, which opened in October, focuses on breakfast all day, but also offers lunch options, blending “the coffee, cafe culture with really good food.” The name was inspired by the slang term used in Australia for breakfast, and the sisters said they liked the term’s casual vibe and how they believe it represents the healthy concept the restaurant embraces.
“We wanted something very approachable,” Lindsey Rusch said. “But we also wanted to introduce some new foods to people —a lot of healthier foods, but with a twist that’s very approachable to customers and people of all ages.”
Brekkie Shack’s menu focuses on plant-based options because the pair wanted to cater to customers with different dietary restrictions, Lisa Rusch said. However, they still wanted to have proteins available such as nitrate-free chicken.
“And you can’t have a breakfast place without bacon,” Lisa Rusch said.
With a focus on healthy, quick and fresh food, the sisters wanted to keep the menu simple and concise to maintain their ideology.
Keeping menu items simple allows them to experiment with recipes, building upon what they already have and making seasonal changes based on what is fresh during that time — especially during the summer, Lisa Rusch said, which Brekkie Shack hasn’t experienced yet.
Lisa and Lindsey Rusch said the aim for the restaurant space is to feel “outdoorsy,” so they put in garage doors that they plan to open when the weather gets warmer.
“We really wanted to just bring a casual vibe to it,” Lisa Rusch said. “That people would want to hang out here for hours if they wanted to.”
Lisa and Lindsey Rusch have lived and worked every job together since they were 18, which has prepared them to operate Brekkie Shack as co-owners. Their younger brother, Jeff Rusch, also joins them in the kitchen, and they have previous experience working with their father and older brother as well.
“I said, ‘You know, I’m pretty handy in the kitchen. I’ll come and help out,’ because I have a full-time job otherwise,” Jeff Rusch said. “It just evolved into me being here almost every day, and I started to really enjoy it more and more.”
Jeff Rusch said it’s nice to be around family, and the restaurant is a good place for their friends and family to gather and hang out.
“Food has always been a passion in our family,” he said. “So that’s what we’re just trying to share with everybody here.”
Brekkie Shack is located at 1060 Yard Street in Grandview Heights. It is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.