By: Melissa Kinslow
Special to the Wreckhouse Weekly
PORT AUX BASQUES – Judging by the queue of vehicles that backed up onto the highway, it’s safe to say that residents around the Southwest coast were happy to see Mary Brown’s open for business last Saturday, May 22. Inside saw a steady flow of customers too, happily standing in line, most waiting for the famous “Big Mary”, anxious for the taste they’ve missed so much.
One little boy in particular spent days ahead of the opening in a state of excitement. Say hello to Isaac Matthews of Port Aux Basques. Isaac was the happiest in town when he walked through the door of his new favourite spot to dine out.
Isaac said that it was “his favourite place to eat since forever”.
“I couldn’t wait,” said Isaac. “I just couldn’t wait. I waited for the last two or three days.”
Isaac was invited to be Mary Brown’s first customer, and owner Colin Allen even had a sign made to honour the occasion.
“It feels great, and it’s certainly been a long time coming,” said Allen. “It was well missed in the community. The people are very happy to see our establishment open its doors again.”
In addition to the Mary Brown’s, Allen has also opened a new gas bar and convenience store – Allen’s One Stop and Wilson’s Fuel Stop.
“This particular establishment is our first ever gas station – Mary Brown’s combo,” said Allen.
He also said that they are looking to grow further, with plans to build future sites with the same combination across Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.
“I’ve been in this now for 15 years,” chuckled Allen. “Opportunity knocked, basically, and a Port Aux Basques location became available so I decided to add it to the portfolio.”
This establishment is the sixth of his Mary Brown’s franchises that he owns including 5 in Nova Scotia. Allen said that each establishment is employing over 100 employees. This particular franchise has already created around 30 jobs within the community.
“We opened our very first store 13 years ago in Nova Scotia,” noted Allen.
“I love it. It’s great,” said Amber Lillington. “Since we lost Mary Brown’s the first time, I think it’s going to be a big comeback this time.”
“The community has waited way too long without a Mary Brown’s, and they have waited long enough,” said Justin Short, Operations Manager.
Continued Short, “We put a lot of really good, hard work into making the business a reality, but now, it’s done, and it’s beautiful.’