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Establishment Spotlight: State Lunch (Augusta, ME)

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As Bakes for Breast Cancer gears up for its first ever Maine event, so too do eager participating establishments. One such participant is State Lunch, a newcomer to the buzzing Augusta restaurant scene that offers plenty of comfort food cult classics. 

Opened in 2020, just mere days from the start of the pandemic, State Lunch owns a robust menu of delicious lunch, dinner and dessert options. Despite only a year of operation under its belt, State Lunch welcomes hordes of fervent followers each and every day. 

Getting to this point amidst a pandemic wasn’t easy, just ask co-founder Shawn McLaughlin. 

“So I’m the guy that opens a restaurant 18 days before the start of a global pandemic,” McLaughlin said. “Story of my life.” 

Starting a restaurant is hard, stressful work, and the pandemic turned up the heat in every imaginable way for the green restaurateur. Faced with numerous challenges, McLaughlin stayed calm and kept the ship on course.

“The mission was simple: keep our team employed and continue to offer a sense of normalcy to the community that had embraced us from day one,” McLaughlin said. “We are here today because of the amazing community that supports us and because of the talented and kind people who choose to work here.”

As part of its partnership with Bakes for Breast Cancer, State Lunch is offering a brand-new, limited-time dessert that will directly fund critical breast cancer research. Vanessa, State Lunch’s baker, used her baking wizardy to recreate one of America’s favorite candy bars into an irresistible cake. The Almond Joy Cake features a layer of chocolate and coconut cake, coconut and almond filling, chocolate buttercream frosting, and is topped off with slivered almonds. Diehard fans of this halloween night mainstay should make it over to State Lunch before time runs out!

The Almond Joy Cake (credit: Shawn McLaughlin)

Grabbing a slice, or two, of the Almond Joy Cake will directly fund breast cancer research, such as the work done by Dr. Rachel Freedman at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The rest of State Lunch’s menu will have you primed for dessert, with countless mouth-watering options; even owner Shawn McLaughlin has trouble picking his favorite!

“It’s like asking someone to choose their favorite child,” McLaughlin said. “I would say it’s a tossup between our chicken and waffles and the ramen bowl which has become our top selling dish.”

Whether it’s a sweet and savory hall-of-famer, or a dressed-up dorm room classic, you’re in store for a delicious meal—just save room for dessert! 

Despite the difficult times Shawn and many other restaurant owners are facing at present, the decision to give back to the community through Bakes for Breast Cancer was an easy one. 

“For us, this was a no-brainer,” McLaughlin said. “When things are uncertain and times are tougher, it is just as important to make sure you are doing the right thing and using your platform to give back and get involved in the causes you believe in.”

The inaugural Bakes for Breast Cancer Maine event will run from August 2nd through August 8th across the Pine Tree State. Visiting State Lunch and grabbing the Almond Joy Cake is a way you can make a real difference in the fight against breast cancer. To learn more about the event and to find your closest participating location, visit our website at

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