UnSHAKEable owners, Natasha Scheibe & Jennifer Tobin are making candy-sprinkled waves right here in Waco with their social enterprise in connection with the Sunshine Recovery House. UnSHAKEable, a way for the Sunshine Recovery House non-profit to garner funds, opened with Union Hall in 2020. Since its grand opening, UnSHAKEable Milkshakes has been serving magically fun desserts for Union Hall patrons.
We had the opportunity to interview these remarkable women and inquire about unSHAKEable’s journey, their struggles, and the bright future ahead.
Q: What’s been your favorite part about being open in Waco? In Union Hall?
NATASHA: “So we are a social enterprise and we are owned by a non-profit, which is Sunshine Recovery House which is a women’s sober living. Here in Waco there are only 2 residential facilities for women and there’s probably 10 different residents for men. So, it’s a need that we’re filling here in Waco specifically and all of our profits filter back into the house. And for me, that’s one of the reasons I like being here in Waco.”
JENNIFER: “And that’s why unSHAKEable came to be.”
NATASHA: “Yes, that’s why we exist.”
Q: How did unSHAKEable come to be? Tell us your story.
JENNIFER: “That’s most of our story really. We employ women who are in the early stages of recovery as well as women who are in the later stages of recovery, people with a past, people with a history, people with real stories.”
NATASHA: “We try to give second chances and create opportunities. We do a lot of re-hiring and we really want to allow women specifically the opportunity to have a fun job, maybe learn some new skills. We’re pretty flexible, we try to work with them on simple everyday tasks that women who are in recovery maybe haven’t done in a long time, things that they maybe were never exposed to. We try to have a bit of leniency sometimes whereas other employers may not.”
Q: Unshakeable clearly came from a need for this kind of service in Waco. Who did the idea come from?
NATASHA: “There was a woman who kind of started Sunshine Recovery house who had the idea of implementing a social enterprise. I’m not sure where she specifically got the idea but I do know that there’s a place in Tennessee that works with women in trafficking and that is where the concept originated from. They created their own soaps, candles, and they employed these women as they went through a 2 year long program to resocialize and to become part of society.”
JENNIFER: “There’s also Jimmy Dorrell with Mission Waco and the World Cup Cafe, it’s the same concept. It’s having a restaurant to support the Mission and to employ people that need to be employed.”
Q: Why milkshakes? And what are some challenges you’ve faced with this?
NATASHA: “Something fun! Something different. There isn’t really a milkshake place like this in Waco. We think it’s definitely a good idea. It’s new, it’s fresh; I think the closest place like us is down in Austin and we just need more of getting the word out. People just need to know more about us.”
JENNIFER: “And it’s fun to come up with the shakes. Right now, one of our goals is our expansion to Union Grove. We’re working to find some reliable employees who will grow with us out there and hang with us for a while, which is also one of our challenges. I think that’s everybody’s challenge though.”
NATASHA: “Yes, especially nowadays. And because we are a social enterprise, it’s very important that we try to make as much money as possible while trying to stay competitive. The first challenge of course was staying open during COVID, which we did successfully. So the second challenge now is handling what’s going on in the world today. Everything’s going up in price and as everything is going up, people are spending less. Really trying to make sure we can even out and save on costs and learning how to stay competitive at the same time is key for us.”
JENNIFER: “Also getting the word out that we aren’t just an expensive milkshake. It’s not just $11.00 for a milkshake, it’s also a donation.”
NATASHA: “And I think that’s our biggest challenge of all. Just letting people know what we do. Definitely marketing, and again, all of these things cost money. Trying to do things without having to spend money that needs to go toward the Sunshine Recovery House is important. We’re not just a dessert. It’s something you can bring a date to and share together.”
JENNIFER: “It’s an experience. It’s a work of art.”
NATASHA: “We’re also open for people to give us ideas, definitely! For naming some of these shakes or flavors or designs. We try to stay fun and funky, we’re going to start implementing contests and things like that as well.”
Q: Right now, what is the milkshake you would most recommend to your customers?
NATASHA: “Salt N’ Peppa. It’s the most popular. It’s between that and the Cookie Thumper.”
JENNIFER: “The Cookie Butter flavor will change your life. Cookie Butter is SO good.”
Q: What’s next for Unshakable and the Sunshine Recovery House?
JENNIFER: “We’re expanding to Union Grove for sure. And for Sunshine Recovery House we are still in the process of trying to renovate and make money for that.”
NATASHA: “Our actual house now has 11 women, which is a good number, but it’s a very old house and when we took over there was a lot of work that needed to be done that we weren’t aware of. So really just kind of renovating the Sunshine Recovery House. And that’s the purpose of unSHAKEable Milkshakes, it’s to help bring in funding alongside other fundraisers so that way we can make it as comfortable as possible for the women. We’d love to replicate the house as well for women and children specifically, I think that’s a long-term goal we have.”
Q: Where is the Sunshine Recovery House down here?
JENNIFER: “It’s uptown off of North 15th Street.”
NATASHA: “It’s actually really not that far which is nice for the ladies because they can walk to Union Hall. Everybody’s always hiring so because we don’t have enough to be able to hire all the women in the house, nor would all of the women really want to work with us, the locality of Union Hall is great.”
JENNIFER: “Yeah, they can Uber together, they can ride together, they can walk with each other.”
If you’d like a taste of the best shakes in Waco, you can find unSHAKEable at 720 Franklin Ave. inside Union Hall. Below are their hours of operation:
For unSHAKEable’s menu and/or more information on the Sunshine Recovery House visit www.unshakeablemilkshakes.com & www.sunshinerecoveryhouse.org
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.