Shannon Schmelzer loves history! So it should come as no surprise that her new business “The Tinnery” is housed in a 1878 building right next to the historic footbridge in Boothbay Harbor (23 Granary Gardens) that Luthor Maddocks helped to build. In fact, the building, remains in the Maddocks family to this day! But, we are getting ahead of ourselves!
The Tinnery is the brainchild of Shannon Schmelzer, who has also been running “Shannon’s Unshelled” in Boothbay Harbor for the past eight years. Although her original dream for her little lobster shack has grown, Shannon’s dedication to quality and supporting our local fishing community remains unchanged. Her goal, then and now, was to deliver the best experience possible. The Tinnery builds on Shannon’s original vision to use the freshest local ingredients, prepared from scratch in a beautiful setting overlooking Boothbay Harbor’s historic Footbridge - providing customers with an undeniable Maine experience.
Steeped in local history, the Tinnery sits on the site of Boothbay Harbor’s old canning district. Lobster, mackerel, and clam canning started in the Boothbay region at Lobster Cove in 1878 at the lobster factory once located at Barrett’s Park. Local mover-and-shaker Luther Maddocks and many others jumped at the sardine opportunity. Eventually there were six canneries around the harbor area, their names changing at a bewildering rate as the owners went in and out of business.
Four company steamers, as well as independent fishermen, supplied the fish. The Maddocks Packing Company, was described as the biggest establishment of its kind in Maine, or maybe the country.
It was the original use of the building that inspired Shannon’s decision of what to do next. “I was inspired by the conservas canned seafood bars of Europe, where people gather in a casual environment and get a beer and a bite! We love the idea of “seafare to share” and our menu features dishes that friends annd families can enjoy together. Although we will have limited seating initially to stay within state of Maine COVID guidelines, we hope as more people get vaccinated and things open up, that will change and we will be able to have live music as well.”
Shannon is also passionate about the process of canning and preserving. Mainers have been preserving and canning the fruits of their labor for many generations. We source all of our preserves locally, either from Morse’s Sauerkraut who continue to honor the traditional recipe and fermentation methods begun by the family over 100 years ago, or from other local artisanal kitchens. Whether it is canning, salting, drying or pickling, we hope to highlight these traditional methods and showcase has it can preserve and in many cases, enhance the flavor!”
The Tinnery is open Wednesday-Saturday, 4:30 until 10 p.m.
For more information and to make a reservation, visit www.tinnerymaine.com